Come and See Photography: Blog en-us (C) Come and See Photography [email protected] (Come and See Photography) Mon, 18 Jan 2021 17:42:00 GMT Mon, 18 Jan 2021 17:42:00 GMT Come and See Photography: Blog 120 96 Snow! It snowed last week.  At my Mississippi home, that’s an event worth noting.  I enjoyed seeing friends’ posts of their yards, streets and countryside views.  The snow-covered scenes seem a bit magical, millions and millions of tiny snowflakes nestled together onto the expanded landscape.  Beautiful!


Also beautiful are those uniquely formed flakes – each one different.  Alike in composition, yet each one taking a shape that is a distinctive design – one at a time – exclusive in its own beauty.

And such are we.  Humans.  All made from the same stuff, yet each one formed into our own unique designs.  Together, we make up humanity.  Yet God gave attention to forming us one at a time into our own matchless identities.  No one is like you.  No one is like me.  We were crafted by the hand of God into created beings like none other.


“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb.  I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”  Psalm 139:13-16


What is even more important is to know that the Creator loves you, His beloved daughter or son, individually.  You are His.  And He longs to wrap you in His arms of love every day.


“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  Leviticus 3:22-23


Blessings of peace in God’s love as you go through this week.  You are created, you are loved.


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) design god love photography snow Mon, 18 Jan 2021 17:42:25 GMT
Seasons Seasons have been on my mind a lot lately.  Perhaps it was watching the vibrant transformation of summer's greens to a full array of gold and crimson as leaves drift down onto the frosty signposts of approaching winter.  Perhaps unlike other times of the year, these signals marking the change in seasons happen so rapidly.  If you blink (or in my case travel a lot), you might miss fall's peak colors.


But then, seasons aren't just about weather and nature’s growth cycles.  The writer of Ecclesiastes talks about other kinds of seasons.

The seven verses that follow this opening one explore so many different human experiences.

A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace.


Our human "seasons" can take on so many different shapes with thousands of nuances leading from one season to the next.  Sometimes seasons can change rapidly such as when family responsibilities change, when we pass through a major hurdle or accomplishment, when we or someone near us experiences a change in health, when work responsibilities change, just to name a few.  But sometimes seasons can feel stuck, like someone forgot to wind the clock to keep time ticking forward.  Often these are times of waiting, waiting for the next doctor's visit, the next hurdle to be overcome, the next job opportunity, or the can fill in the blank.  We find ourselves longing for the next season just like we long for the first cool hint of fall in the middle of August’s summer grip.


It's easy to get so lost in wanting to escape what is so hard about one season that we can miss some of God’s promises in the present experience.  As I think about these times, three such promises give me comfort and peace.  First, recognizing that God has given each season its own place and time helps me keep perspective.  Whether this is a season of joy and vibrance or it is a season of pain and heartache, knowing it will end and another season will take its place gives me renewed commitment to “show up” for my own life, my own season.  To be present in the “what is” rather than solely pining away for what was or what isn’t yet is a gift, keeping me focused on what matters most in the right now season of my life.  It is a season.  I will choose to walk through this season knowing God has set boundaries around it.


Another promise we have in our seasons is found in verse 11:


"He has made everything beautiful in its time.”


As nature’s seasons remind us, each season has its own unique beauty as well as challenges.  Sometimes, though, we can miss the present season’s beauty as we peer anxiously toward the next season on the horizons.  We yearn for summer’s warm rays as we huddle by fires in the dark of winter.  Then as summer heats up, we drudge through dreaming of sitting by a warm, cozy fire on a snowy day.  (We can be a fickle lot at times.)  The distraction of trying to peer into the next season can lead us to miss the beautiful in the now.  Likewise, when all our attention is focused on the “back then” beauty of what once was, we are equally blinded to the unique beauty in the “now.”  So rather than solely seeing the “what was” or “what might be” beauty, I want to be drawn to looking deeply into this time to embrace the distinctive loveliness that interweaves into this season.  What am I able to experience, sense, feel, do right now in this season that might not be at my fingertips in the next passage?  Where do I need to lean in and breathe the now?  What is the distinctive beauty here? 


The third truth, and by far the most important for helping me maintain perspective regardless of where I am in my life journey is that God has all the seasons of our lives in His hands.  Circling back to verse one, notice that all the seasons and every matter is all under heaven.  The Maker of all holds all things together.  He is still on His Throne.  He is still in control.  His plan for us will unfold when the timing is right.  Until that moment, our simple task is to walk, breathe, live, trust.  The One who loves us more than we can imagine is holding all things in His Hands.


So, I can, with confidence, be present in my “now” season, explore the unique beauty that God has woven into this moment, and trust Him to walk me to and through the next season when His timing is right.  Rest there for a moment.  Breathe in what is good around you.  Trust Him with the future.


Blessings and peace in this season.






[email protected] (Come and See Photography) Bible Ecclesiastes gift God photography seasons trust Fri, 22 Nov 2019 22:25:20 GMT
When Peace Feels Distant Over the past few months, I've been going through a season of anxiousness and unrest in my soul as I seek to find a balance between time for meaningful relationships at home and church while balancing the heavy demands of my job.  Maybe you can relate.  Or maybe you're in a different season of stress.  I was reading back through one of my old journals the other day and found this entry that I wrote as a stay at home mom of two little toddlers:  "My house is a wreck.  I'm never caught up.  I feel like I'm sinking in this mess.  I hope I can remember this feeling as I look into homes of young moms when my children are older."  Yeah, I remember.

Regardless of the exact circumstances, many of us share in experiencing seasons of anxiousness, stress, and depression, leaving us hungry for peace, rest, and comfort.  A few weeks ago, at a particularly low point, I heard a godly young man talk about one of his struggles and how he used verses from God's Word to battle his challenges.  (God's Word is referred to as a sword several times in the Bible, such as in Ephesians 6:17 for instance.)  Taking this to heart, I've been exploring what our Lord said about peace and joy.  

One passage that has particularly stood out to me so far came from a place I didn't expect.  The book of Lamentations, written by the prophet Jeremiah, is about sorrow.  In fact, the word "lament" used in this book means to weep, such as at a funeral.  So, it is the last place I would have thought to look for verses on peace and joy.  But the riches of God's words to us often surprises me.

Here's what I found.  Jeremiah presents a long accounting of the excruciating circumstances he is enduring both personally and as a member of the nation of Israel.  He is in anguish as he writes:

My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.”  Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall!  My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.

Leviticus 3:17-20

I read these words one day when I was feeling particularly low and thought, "Wow!  Jeremiah gets it."  Here is this messenger of the God of the heavens, but he still feels the anguish of life that strangles his peace and happiness, and threatens to extinguish his endurance and hope.  "My bowed down within me."  Powerful words.

But Jeremiah doesn't stop there.  He goes on to say:  "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:"

I've heard this verse thousands of times and even sung it as a hymn of praise.  Yet I never realized the context of these encouraging words.  In essence, Jeremiah says, this is what I hang on to when I'm feeling at the end.  This is what helps me take the next step, breathe the next breath, settle my trouble-tossed soul:  God's steadfast love and unending faithfulness.  Not just today, but everyday.  And not just everyday, but new every morning.  We are blessed with a loving Father that continues to renew us daily.  He never grows tired or weary of loving us and He is faithful to carry us, even when the days are dreary and burdened.  

I'm thankful for these words.  I'm thankful for the reminder of God's love and faithfulness.  I'm thankful for God.  I don't know how I would ever face the tough days without the peace He provides and the assurance of His love and unending faithfulness.

May your days be covered by the warmth of the Father's love.

As always, thanks for reading.



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) anxiety Bible comfort faithfulness God hope love nature peace photography sunset Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:03:08 GMT
My Sister, My Friend: A Confession & A Commitment A few weeks ago, I spent a weekend at the beach with a group of dear, lovely ladies, some of whom I’ve known for years while others for only a short time.  Some were in college, others had new babies in their arms, while still others were starting businesses, welcoming grandbabies, serving diligently as single moms, seeking employment, and a host of other life circumstances.  Yet as diverse as this group of women is, we share one central common trait – we all are seeking to love, honor, and serve our Lord Jesus Christ.  What a great uniting bond!

But I have a confession to make.  I have spent much of the last decade skirting around friendships with my sisters, choosing instead to focus on my immediate household (in which I’m the only female) and my career.  And while these pursuits matter and are important in their own rights, my neglect of precious sisterhood relationships has left me feeling empty and disconnected.  And as I am feeling the strain of my friendship-starved soul, I recognize the price my carelessness may have cost others, sisters that needed my presence, my encouragement, my shoulder.  Yet in my busyness, I left them unsupported and dangling in the wicked wind of this world’s challenges.

And now to be even more honest, not all of my neglect was the result of being “too busy” with family and career.  No, if I am crystal-clear truthful, I must admit that some of my “I’m too busy” was really about my own fear of rejection that resulted in a tangible reluctance to take a risk on a relationship.  It seemed much easier to just hide behind my “to do” list and conveniently not find time to invest in the vital relationships that are essential to my emotional and spiritual health.  I too easily allowed hurts from the past to form a hardened armored shell around my heart, thinking I could protect my tender places from thoughtless words or actions by cocooning behind the hard, cold steel encasement.  But in reality, what was happening was a slow starvation of my soul as I cut off life-sustaining connections to other God-seeking women.  Years later, I’m just now realizing how hungry my soul is for the God-designed connections I’ve shunned.

But with honest, pure confession comes change.  I must choose to live life differently.  I must choose to replace old lies with new truths.  I have much to learn, but as I begin this journey, here are some truths I am choosing to put in place of the walls that lies have built.  I choose to:


Trust God with my future, removing fear that threatens to stand as a barrier to friendships in my life.

Allow God to remove my stony heart and replace it with one that beats vibrantly in relationship with Him and with my sisters.

Let the waters of forgiveness wash away the hurts from the past, placing those in God’s hands, knowing how much He has forgiven me.

Replace the cold, hard roots of envy and pride with the beautiful warmth of patience and kindness.

Encourage and build up my sisters, lifting them up to the Father in love.

Be humble enough to admit my own weaknesses and broken places, to go beyond the pat answers to admit when I’m not fine.  

Walk alongside my sisters when their burdens are heavy.  Be loyal and present in the tough seasons of life. 

Give the gift of time and listening without judgment or condemnation.  

Bring my single light into community with my sisters so that together we can be a city set on a hill.

Love deeply as Christ loves me.

This sums the whole well:

I pray God’s strength and wisdom on this messy, imperfect, rewarding, uplifting, scary, God-designed journey.  I am convinced He is choosing this path for me, and I’m equally convinced He is choosing the path of godly friendships for you, too.  Let’s take a walk together, lean on each other, learn from each other, laugh along the way, encourage, weep, rejoice…together.  Want to come along?


What have you learned about friendships along the way that can help others of us on this pathway?  Have you connected with your sisters in the faith?  Or have you struggled on this journey like me?  Either way, I’d love to hear your story.  Let’s talk.



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) bible christian friends friendship god jesus ocean photography relationships sunset Wed, 07 Mar 2018 18:26:37 GMT
It's Here! The 52 Week Project Is Now in Print Hi, friends!

After many months of work, I'm so pleased to announce that the book 52 Weeks:  Seeking God through His World and His Word is finally ready. The book chronicles my journey through the Bible in a year, exploring God's truth alongside His glorious creation.  The 114 page full-color book transforms each week's readings into a two page devotional illustrated with original photography.  The book is 11 inches by 14 inches in size with a soft cover as depicted below. 

52 Week-Seeking God Book52 Week-Seeking God Book

As a bonus, readers are invited to download a free copy of the Bible reading guide by clicking on the link below:

To purchase a copy of 52 Weeks:  Seeking God through His World and His Word, click on this link, then click on the book cover thumbnail.

May God bless you as you open His Word and explore His Creation.

Happy New Year!


P.S. To inquire about large quantities (10 or more), email me at [email protected].


Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) . 52 week challenge bible book christian devotional book god jesus nature photography photography book Wed, 27 Dec 2017 22:11:44 GMT
Gone to Print! Hi, friends.

I've been a bit radio-silent this past year as I've worked to convert the 52 Week Challenge journey developed on this site into a book to share.  This past week I uploaded the final manuscript to the printer and just got the "headed to press" message.  I'm so excited to be able to share this project in a new and different way.  The title is: 52 Weeks:  Seeking God through His World and His Word.

52 Week-Seeking God Book52 Week-Seeking God Book

The story behind the book is this as described on the back cover:  

Recently, I committed to reading the entire Bible all the way through in one year.  In order to strengthen my connection to God’s word, I wanted to blend the joy of capturing God’s beautiful creation through photography with what I am learning as I read.  Each week, as I poured over our Father’s words to us, His children, I discovered new insights that I penned into short devotional thoughts.  These I paired with photography capturing something from the Creator’s world.  This book is a culmination of that work.  

This experience has brought me closer to the Lord as He revealed Himself through His message and His handiwork.  My prayer for you, my fellow explorer, is that you will find joy, comfort, peace and guidance as you read along.

I will be sharing more details soon about how to order, but just wanted to let you know it is headed this way!

More soon!!


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 week challenge bible devotional god inspiration jesus nature photography Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:40:51 GMT
Yellowstone: God's Creative Hand I did it.  Finally!  It took three months, but I finally did it!  

My husband and I spent three jam-packed days in Yellowstone National Park earlier this summer.  Neither of us had been there before, so we wanted to explore as much as we could in our short visit.  Hundreds of pictures later, I've finally narrowed to my top 50.  And while I've posted the set into a gallery to share with you, I wanted to take just a minute to tell you what I saw within the amazing features.  Or maybe I should say, Who I saw.

Who I saw was God.  Everywhere.  An amazing Creator demonstrating His power, creativity, and gentleness in incredibly diverse ways.  I have never seen any other place where such a myriad of artwork existed in such a small geographic footprint.  From the tiny details of intricate little flowers to the vast expanses of mountain views, the Master of all that is was present.  I saw in His masterpiece that He is: 









Yet, He knows us and loves us dearly.  We are not too small nor too insignificant to matter to Him.



"Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life."  Psalm 54:4


"In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also."  Psalm 95:4


"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, 

from everlasting to everlasting you are God."  Psalm 90:2


If you'd like to view the rest of the gallery, click here:


Where do you see God?


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) artwork creator design geyser god photography yellowstone Thu, 21 Sep 2017 01:08:02 GMT
Leadership, Strength, & Power A quick five minute glance at this morning's news displayed stories of struggles for power and control.  Soldiers crossed invisible territorial lines in the oceans.  Candidates vie for voter support.  Even the commercials depict a myriad of products touting promises of stronger muscles, leaner bodies, faster speeds, and more attractive presence.  It seems at times the whole world is busying itself in pursuit of power.  Millions and millions are poured into election coffers, advertising, and deal-making with hopes of grabbing for the top ring.


On a more personal level, each of us faces some of these same challenges in our daily lives.  At work, who will get the next promotion, be chosen to lead the next project, or win the next award?  At school, who will make the best grade, make the team, be selected for a special honor?  This same human struggle can even seep into our homes and our church families.  Who gets the last brownie, gets to pick the television show, or has to change the next dirty diaper?  In our church family, who is selected to lead the ministry, who gets acknowledged publicly for sacrifice and perseverance, or who has the most beautiful singing voice?


Just a few short weeks ago, I got a glimpse of strength that transcends this world.  Only days before Christmas, the Atlanta airport was filled with hundreds of military personnel, some headed to fields of service, others eagerly returning home.  All, though, stood as symbols of this nation's finest examples of physical strength and courage.  Dressed in their camouflaged war-ready garments, strong bodied men and women pledged their lives to protect our nation's freedom.


Yet of the scores intermingled among civilian passengers flooding the terminals, one young soldier stood out as a giant, not because of physical stature, though clearly he was physically strong.  What caught my attention, instead, was what he was doing.  Surrounded by all the noise and chaos of the human floods around him, this lone soldier sat intently focused on one thing:  the open Bible in his lap.  Here he was, physically young and strong, a member of one of the world's strongest and most accomplished military forces.  Yet he recognized the only Source of true strength.

Jesus calls us to lay down our striving and grappling and stressing over who will be first and greatest and simply come to Him, our Rock and our Strength.  It is only through this surrender that we can be strong, a strength that is not dependent upon money, fame, physique, or fads.  It does not waiver by votes or accomplishments.  Instead this Strength is offered freely to His children who simply surrender to Him.


And He said to them,

“If anyone would be first,

he must be last of all and servant of all.” 

Mark 9:35

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) Bible God Leadership Power Strength photography trust Sun, 24 Jan 2016 17:12:26 GMT
52 Weeks: #52 The End and the Beginning Week 52 is here.  A year's worth of reading through the Bible, finding nuggets of God's message to share, pairing them with photography of His creation, and sharing through this blog series comes to an end.  For me, my journey through the Scriptures was made richer through sharing with you.  Thank you for holding me accountable as I read and sought God's wisdom.


So, in finishing this series, I want to share what, to me, seems the culminating message of the journey.  God, the Almighty Creator, loves every one of us and earnestly calls us to seek Him, not because He has some ego complex, but because He is the Loving Father that wants nothing more than to have His children at His side.  As a mom of adult married children with their own homes, I get that!  I cherish times when my children are at my table, under my roof, or in my arms.  My heart is bursting with joy when my children are close. 


Yet God beckons us to an even greater family reunion.  And this one will be without any sickness, no sorrows allowed, no one will be angry, hurt or tired.  In this sweet welcome home, we will spend all of eternity rejoicing together as family around the feet of our adoring Father and our Big Brother and Savior, Jesus Christ.  How I long for that welcome home!


His gift, His message of love, was made clear so many years ago, but stands just as true today for us.



Weaving our way back to several weeks ago, a simple verse from the book of Joshua brings this series to a close.  His conclusion, having just brought the children of Israel into their Promised Land, mirrors our appropriate response as we wait for our Promised Land. 


So as we begin a New Year, a new month or even a new day, let us join hands with the many that have gone before us to choose to serve our Father. 


My prayer is that you have been blessed through these profound truths of God's Word as you have read along with me.  May God continue to watch over you and guide you in the coming year and throughout this life, until we reach the joyous family reunion He has prepared. 




Thank you for reading.  Stay tuned for new blogs in 2016.


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God Jesus gift heaven love nature photography Fri, 25 Dec 2015 21:56:49 GMT
52 Weeks: #51 Following I don’t know a lot about sheep.  Only once have I been among a flock of sheep in their natural environment.  All other encounters were in the controlled environments of zoos of some sort.  But in talking to their caregivers, their shepherds, I have learned a few key facts about these gentle creatures and the importance of the shepherd’s role.  First, harsh though it may be, sheep are just not very bright.  As long as green grass is under their noses for munching, they will keep their heads to the task of filling their tummies and pay little attention to where they are going.  Aimlessly guided by their appetites, they can easily wander off the edge of a cliff or into a briar patch that would tear and ensnare them. Second, they are relatively defenseless.  By nature, they are typically timid and fearful, plus they lack claws, fangs or other defense mechanisms to protect against predators.  So, a shepherd’s watchful eye is needed as the stealthy carnivorous enemies lurk.


Hmmm.  Come to think of it, we humans sound a bit like these critters.  Driven by our own appetites, distracted by the world’s illusions of “the grass is greener over there,” we can easily be lulled into aimless paths of danger or even destruction.  Far too easily we can become ensnared by temptations of this world that tear at our very beings.  And when it comes to defending ourselves against our number one predator, Satan, who seeks to devour our precious souls, we are powerless.  Unaided, we are vulnerable to his treacherous attacks, unable to offer any defense or shield.


But we are not without a Shepherd. 




The Lord God, Almighty Shepherd, calls us His own.  He takes charge of His sheep, protecting, seeking, feeding those that are His.



But He doesn’t stop there.  The Shepherd speaks of a time to come when He will set up a new Shepherd, His only Son, to care for His precious lambs.



Here is what is absolutely beyond human design.  The Lord God, the Mighty One, sent this new Shepherd.  But incredibly, He sent the Shepherd in the form of a lamb,... pure, innocent, gentle lamb.  He made the Shepherd to BE one of the sheep in order to BE the perfect sacrifice so that He could BE the Shepherd, saving the lambs from the vicious attacks of the Evil One who seeks to devour them.



If you or I were writing this story, perhaps we would have written it differently.  Perhaps the Savior would have taken on a different form, certainly not the same as the frail humans He was coming to save!  If I were writing the story, I'd have been tempted to write Him as being this "bigger than life" super-being, perhaps standing taller, bigger, with bulging muscles.  Yet God chose to send His Son among us in the form of human beings, God's lambs.  He became one of us to save us.  This is so profound that words fail in attempting to describe the impact.


The Lamb of God came, though, by God's design and in fulfillment of His promise.  The Savior came, offered His life as the pure sacrifice we could not fulfill.  He rose again and stands ready to lead, comfort, bind wounds, feed His lambs with a tenderness and compassion that only a Shepherd can know.


So how do sheep respond?  Sheep know their master’s voice.  Sheep trust.  And sheep follow the shepherd.


Whose voice are you following?


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian Ezekiel God Jesus lamb nature photography sacrifice shepherd Tue, 22 Dec 2015 13:11:18 GMT
52 Weeks: #50 The Gospel in Psalms Who knew?  I surely didn't!  I've read the book of Psalms many times throughout my life, but I've never noticed this until now.


Nestled into just a few short chapters and verses is a summary of the salvation God offers, the Good News or Gospel story.  Here it is.


Chapter 1:  God, the King above all, created the earth.



Chapter 2:  Frail mankind enters the picture. 



Chapter 3:  We struggle, slip, and need God to save us.  



Chapter 4:  God brings His salvation to all people.



Chapter 5:  He sends us into the world to share the Good News.



And that is the simple story of God's love for His children, His created ones, the ones He loves.


Our redemption story authored by a loving God and Father.


Are you allowing Him to author your redemption story?  Truly there is no better story ever written.


May we all allow the Master Author's pen to write the pages of our stories, filled with His joyous salvation.



As always, thank you for reading.

Perhaps you know someone that would welcome this message.  Please consider sharing.



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God Psalms creation good news gospel hope photography salvation Sat, 12 Dec 2015 22:52:56 GMT
52 Weeks: #49 The King Is Coming! It is December.  Almost instantly my mind equates the month with Christmas.  The special holiday season seems to envelop the entire month.  Parties, concerts, plays, family gatherings, and gifts fill our calendars and our thoughts.  It is so encompassing that it changes the way we dress, the music that fills our ears, and the way we decorate and share our homes.


Yet a quick step back in time about 2535 years, places God’s people in very different circumstances.  Having neglected, at best, and rejected, at worst, their relationship with God, He allows a period of discipline to bring His children back to a remembrance of His supremacy as Lord and Master.


During these dark days of captivity under the nation of Persia, the Israelites began to feel the weight of their disobedient choices.


Did they deserve their punishment?  Clearly


Could God have just given up on them and started over?  Most of us probably would have, given the situation.  This, of course, was not Israel’s first time to run from God in pursuit of the lifeless wooden “gods” of the cultures around them.


Yet even in this time, when God has halted their careless lifestyles, He does not leave them without hope.  Instead, He opens a small window into the future, giving them a glimpse of the glorious plans He has in mind.



As you read these words, perhaps your mind did a quick fast-forward about 550 years from these dark days of captivity to the fulfillment of this promise.  Bible story images depicting Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem as told in Matthew 21:1-11 brought flesh and bones to this promise.  The window forward to this significant event in the last few days of Jesus’ life on this earth depicted hope of the coming of a glorious King.


And then, stepping back to the captives’ world, another more sobering scene comes into view as another window to future events opens.



Solemnly, our thoughts go to that horrible series of events in which one of Jesus’ own twelve closest friends betrays Him for a mere 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave (Exodus 21:32).  And we see Judas, recognizing His heinous guilt, throwing the coins back at the chief priests’ feet, moments before ending his own life.  The potters’ field bought with the blood money completes Zechariah’s prophesy.


The Israelites' emotions, perhaps:

                Captivity – Guilt-ridden

                                A Coming King –  Hopeful

                                                A Betrayal –  Sorrowful


This is a journey we take alongside those who have gone before.  God, Lord and Master Creator, invites us to Him.  Yet we selfishly chase the meaningless trinkets of our culture, disappointing Him and rejecting Him.  Held captive by our own sinful choices, we feel the weight of our guilt-ridden choices.


Yet, in His love, while we were sinners, He sent His Son to die for us, giving us hope for our sinful condition.  As the narrative of Jesus’ life continues, we know this donkey riding King was sold for a slave’s price and killed on the cross.  We, too, feel the weight of sorrow as we read of these last few days of His life, knowing it was our sinful choices that placed Him on the cross.


But the story does not end there.  Gloriously, three days later He rose from the grave to offer us redemption, a gift far beyond any we could even imagine!  And certainly far above what we deserve.  Yet our Loving Father reaches out in mercy to deliver His children from Satan’s captivity and places us on the path of redemption leading to a home with Him one day where all of the troubles and trials of this world will melt away leaving us free to enjoy His embrace in a heavenly realm where love and peace reign supreme.


What a magnificent celebration that will be!


May we center our lives completely and consistently on the One who loves us the most, not just in convenient seasons, but daily as we rejoice over His steadfast love and mercy.



And may His people together say, "Amen."




As always, thanks for reading.




[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Christian donkey hope Jesus King nature photography promise prophecy redemption salvation Zechariah Sun, 06 Dec 2015 02:49:45 GMT
52 Weeks: #48 Rejected or Desired Few moments are more precious than the birth of a child into the arms of adoring parents.  The elation, the tenderness, the absolute awe as eyes meet eyes for the first time, connecting hearts.


In stark contrast, stories of newborns found abandoned in dark detestable dumps in deserted allies are almost unbearable.


Yet, this story has such a beginning.  A tiny baby girl is found tossed into a deserted field out in the country, umbilical cord still attached, blood caked on her tiny naked body. 




She is found by a young boy who happened to walk near enough to hear her now feeble attempts to cry.  He tenderly scooped up the frail infant, ignoring the grime and blood, and carries her to a nearby home where she is taken in as a daughter.  The boy, though, vows to care for the newborn by working to provide for her needs as his heart was unexplainably attached to the vulnerable little one.




As the years pass, the young boy holds true to his vow, faithfully providing for the little girl as she begins to flourish in her newfound home.  A friendship develops as both boy and girl grow into young adults.  The day comes when this blossoming relationship is sealed in the ultimate human relationship through heartfelt, solemn marriage vows. 




The attentive groom, having worked hard for so very many years is able to lavish on his new bride every gift, every delicacy, every whim her heart could desire.  Beautiful clothes, jewels, trinkets…anything and everything laid at her fingertips.




But the story takes an unimaginable turn.  Fully aware of all this adoring man has done for her from her birth until the present, the heartless bride rejects his love and instead uses the countless tokens of his affection as trinkets to lure other lovers into her bed.  In brazen unfaithfulness, she doesn’t even attempt to hide her actions from her brokenhearted husband.




Yet even in his distress, hurt and anger, he calls to her, reconfirming his desire for a covenant relationship.





In this  second heart wrenching story (see Week #38: The Offer), we are given a glimpse into the heart of our God who wants nothing more from us than to share in an everlasting covenant love relationship.  Yet, like the young bride, we, too, can all too often find ourselves using the blessings God has so generously bestowed on us to pursue other loves, distractions from the One who gave them as gifts of love.  How excruciating the pain we inflict upon our Beloved when we so carelessly flaunt His gifts in pursuit of all manner of worthless idols, each drawing us further and further from the One who loves us the most.


Though we are worthy of rejection, He has redeemed us, He rejoices over us, and He calls us back when we carelessly stray.  The expanse of His love is completely beyond my comprehension.  How could He love me so much in spite of my pitiful, careless, and even rebellious choices?  I don’t know the answer to that question, but what I do know is this:



We now have access to the family of God Himself through the Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


Though we were


We can now be



Our Savior has




His salvation upon us.


Though we have


Him, yet He is faithful to ensure us that we are



To whom will you offer your heart?





As always, thanks for reading.




Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Ezekiel God Savior desired dishonored lavished loved photography reclaimed rejected Fri, 27 Nov 2015 14:04:55 GMT
52 Weeks: #47 Seasons of Change Change is everywhere.  Over the past few weeks, we've watched the greens of summertime slip into autumn colors.  We've also watched disastrous events, both natural and man-connived, take precious lives. causing great distress and anxiety.  Perhaps in your own personal life, you've experienced a season of change.  Illnesses, loss, financial challenges, family strife all are distressing changes.  But likewise, events such as the birth of a baby, marriage, or a graduation, while joyful, can lead us to challenging changing seasons as we navigate the new situations.


How do we respond to these shifting seasons?  The prophet Daniel records some insightful guidance in his God-inspired writings.  Only a young man, Daniel's country is overrun by a godless people who take him and his companions captive, transporting him into a strange land where everything is unfamiliar:  different food, language, customs and expectations.  Even his name is changed.


Yet consider these truths recorded by Daniel during these days as he reflects on his Lord and Master of the universe.



In short, Daniel acknowledges God's preeminence over all things:  nature, kingdoms, rulers and even day and night.  God is in complete control.  He is watching over the affairs of this world in wisdom that far exceeds that of mere humans.


And this watchful guidance is embedded completely within boundless love.  Consider these words from the Psalmist:



So we can, in full assurance, know that no matter what the situation, our loving God knows our struggles and He is in control.  In the voice of a loving father tenderly comforting a distraught child, He says:



You and I, then, walking through whatever seasons, changes, situations, uncertainties that surround us, can know that the Master of the universe has all things well in hand.  Therefore, we can echo these words in peaceful confidence:



Need a quiet place to rest in the midst of change?  Yeah, me too.  Thanks be to God the Father for the rest He offers in His arms.




Thank you for reading.  Please feel free to share with someone else experiencing change.




Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God change confidence fear nature peace photography seasons uncertainty Mon, 23 Nov 2015 01:45:26 GMT
52 Weeks: #46 Extremes In this day of multiple streams of information, stories of extremes seem to rise to the top.  So I did a little research and uncovered a few interesting extremes.  And given the nature of these, likely as soon as I put these words into print, the facts may change.  Even so, these are pretty amazing.


First, ascensions to the world's highest peak, Mount Everest, 29,035 feet high.

  • First recorded ascension: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953
  • Estimated number of successful climbs to the peak:  8000 (estimates vary widely; this is the most generous estimate)
  • One out of ten people that successfully reach the summit lose their lives on the way down


Then, the descents.

  • Deepest unassisted free dive (no fins, no oxygen tank, no weights):  269 feet
  • Deepest assisted free dive (no oxygen tank but using fins or weights to go deeper):  700 feet


These extremes are well beyond the capability of the average person.  Yet we all experience our own levels of extreme highs and lows.  The lows are described in the painful cry of the Psalmist.


"Out of the depths, I cry to You, O Lord."  Psalm 130:3


We've all been at that point where our distress is so intense that we feel powerless and hopeless.   Our own abilities sapped, we can do nothing but cry out for help.  So we cry.  And He answers.


"In my distress, I called to the Lord and He answered me."  Psalm 120:1


At our lowest of lows, the Faithful One answers.  He loves us and He shepherds us through the trials.


And as we seek to climb our summits, God is there in those moments.



You see, at our best human abilities, our inhabitable world is only about 700 feet deep and 29,035 feet high.  That's a narrow band of only about five and a half miles deep.  That's a tiny little sliver of this planet.  But then this planet is only a tiny sphere within our solar system, far from the size of the largest planet.  Continuing on, earth diminishes even further in stature as we zoom out to the galaxy and then the entire universe.


Yet, we have direct access to the One who created it all and who stands as Master and Lord over all.



So as we navigate our human highs and lows in our narrow band of existence, God, the Creator of all, watches intently over us all, ready to reach out His loving hand to you and to me.  As a loving father rejoices as his children surround him, so our Father rejoices and cares for us.



So we can with confidence lift our eyes to the One who holds it all in both our depths and our mountaintops.  He sees.  He knows.  He cares.  He loves.


May your focus stay upward as you walk through your valleys and mountaintops.




Thanks for reading. 





[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Extreme God Psalms comfort help nature photography support Tue, 17 Nov 2015 02:41:19 GMT
52 Weeks: #45 Hide & Seek Who among us hasn't played Hide and Seek at some point?  This classic childhood game is a mainstay transcending continents and generations.  A simple concept:  one or more kiddos run and hide while whoever is "It" hides his/her eyes.  Then after the count is up, the It person seeks the hiders.  Of course, the hiders are hoping to find the best hiding places, to be the last ones found while the seeker hopes to discover all secret hideouts quickly.


But I wonder, did you ever hide so well that the seeker never found you?  Or maybe they got called home for supper before finding you, leaving you hunched in some cramped space until you finally came out, feeling rather bewildered by everyone's absence.  What were you thinking in that span between tucking into your hiding place until you realized the game was over?


At first, perhaps you felt proud. "What a great spot I've found -- they'll never think to look for me here!" 


Then, as time progressed, "Wow! I really DID find a great place!  I can't believe it's taking so long!  I bet I'll win!"


But as the cramped muscles begin to ache, perhaps the thinking turns a bit.  "It's pretty quiet.  I wonder if they are still looking for me?  I wonder if they are still out there?  What if they forgot about me?"  These thoughts suddenly change the fun and thrill of hiding to loneliness and isolation.


You see, hiding is only fun when you're playing a child's game and when you know the hiding will end with being sought and found.


Hiding, just for the sake of hiding, is lonely and isolating and painful.



We have an assurance though.  We can never hide from God so well that we cannot be found by Him.  He sees.  He knows.  Attempting to hide from Him is pointless on the most basic level.  No hiding place is good enough to stump God.  So while that draws us to a realization that we can't hide our sinful acts from His eyes, it also reminds us that He does not want us to be lonely or isolated from Him.


In fact, He invites us to seek Him:



When we cease trying to hide sin in dark corners of our hearts, and instead turn our whole hearts to seeking Him, He promises us that we will find Him.


What a blessing!  No games, no hiding.  Simply openly embracing God as our Lord, our Father. 


The game is over -- He calls us home for dinner.

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God Jeremiah comfort hide and seek isolation nature photography Sun, 08 Nov 2015 20:54:35 GMT
52 Weeks: #44 I Know You! Who are the five people that know you the know, the real inside you...the way you really think and feel about yourself and the things around you?


So, who are those folks?  Family?  Close friends?  Maybe co-workers?  Or maybe you're thinking there aren't five people that really know you well, deep-down-inside-at-the-core-of-you well.


What separates those that know us intimately from those that don't?  Why do we choose to share with some while keeping others well outside the edge of intimacy?  Is it about trust?  Or fear?  Am I afraid to let others in because I am unsure I can trust them with the knowledge of who I truly am?  What will they think?  What would they do if they knew the real me?  Would they be repulsed by my sinful weaknesses and failures?  Would they scoff at my doubts and insecurities?  At some point, on some level, we probably all ask the question, "Would they still like me if they knew...(you can fill in the blank for yourself)?"


So we cover, hide, smile, fake and in such, keep a "safe" distance from those around us.


Yet there is One.  One who knows you better than you know yourself.



The very One who formed you, knitted you together, knows you intimately -- literally inside and out.


This same Creator formed the entire universe from His knowledge.



Yet He brings His focus back to you and to me.



And the crowning pinnacle is that it is this very God, this majestic Creator that invites us to know Him, to know the things in which He delights.



To be known deeply with all your wrinkles, scars, and quirks, yet to be invited into God's intimate circle is a blessing and invitation almost beyond imagination.


This God, this God that knew you before He formed you invites you to know Him.


What better intimate friendship can you imagine!!?



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Creator God Jeremiah friendship intimacy love photography trust Sun, 01 Nov 2015 22:23:01 GMT
52 Weeks: #43 Never! My husband and I have been married for over 30 years and have been blessed with the opportunity to participate in a number of marriage enrichment seminars, retreats, and conferences, all aimed at strengthening our relationship.  A significant portion of these has focused on the importance of clear, honest, respectful communication as one of many tools for building a stronger marriage.  As these conversation pointers emerge, one guidepost often suggested is to avoid the use of "absolute" words like "never," "always," and "every" as the claims that follow are seldom 100% true.


  • You NEVER call when you are gong to be late.
  • You ALWAYS criticize my family.
  • EVERY time you shop, you ignore our budget limitations.


Feel free to mentally add your own contributions from conversations you've experienced.


You can almost feel the tension in those absolute accusations.  And while the tone is much more loving, we often fail at even our best attempts at "nevers" and "always."  Our vows to...

  • ALWAYS put you first.
  • Listen EVERY time you speak
  • NEVER let my eyes stray to anyone else

...fall at our human feet in failure with even our best attempts.


So all of this may leave us feeling a bit skeptical about a promise that contains two "nevers" and one "every."  That's a lot of opportunities to fail in just a few words.  Yet this one is different.  Look at this promise:



Contrasted with our own mortal failings, God's faithfulness is constant, secure, and dependable.  He will not fail, so we can safely trust in Him.


So, it is no wonder that the very next verse proclaims:



The idea behind "portion" is sustenance or inheritance.  Te writer is proclaiming the Lord God as the One who will uphold and sustain us.  So the "therefore" or "so what" is a logical step:  "Therefore I will hope in Him."  What better depiction of that inheritance than through our weekly remembrance of the sacrifice He made in sending His Son to die for us?  It is through Jesus that we can have hope of the inheritance to come and through Him, God's love and mercy freely flow down upon His children.  His love and mercies are renewed daily, every day.  He sustains us securely in Him.  We can safely trust in His ability to keep His absolute promises.


Can you think of anyone else you can always trust to never fail every day?  Human beings?  No?  Yeah, me either.  The Father and Son form a solid, unmatched foundation on which we can rest.


"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,

to the soul who seeks Him." 

Leviticus 3:25


Thank you, Lord, for NEVER failing to love us EVERY day.


Need a few good absolutes in your life?  Try Him!



Thanks for reading.




Rachel Welborn

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God Jesus Never communication nature photography promises trust Sun, 25 Oct 2015 01:58:28 GMT
52 Weeks: #42 Treasure Hunting! Stop for a minute and think about this:  How many movies can you think of that center their story lines on hunting for a treasure of some kind?  What are the first five that come to mind?  If you're like me, it wasn't all that hard to come up with a list. 


The world is fascinated with the notion of finding a source of incredible worth.  Whether the driver is a desire to be immensely rich or whether its the thrill of the hunt that fuels the passion, treasure hunting clearly captures our imaginations.


So in the spirit of the hunt, our family set off one weekend to geocache.  Now for those unfamiliar with the concept, here are the basics.  Someone goes out to a remote place and hides an object, often in a sturdy box.  Then the hider posts the GPS coordinates or clues leading would-be treasure hunters to the target spot.  In more elaborate systems, the box may contain dozens of treasures.  And the hunters are free to take one item of their choosing, but are expected to leave something in its place.


So off we go in search of our treasures!  After a lengthy drive and a few wrong turns we start the trek through the woods.  Stooping, peering and poking around we finally find the treasure box carefully tucked under a shrub at the base of a  big tree.  Excitedly we pulled it out into the open and flung open the lid. 


And the treasure?  Well, if you've ever geocached, you're probably laughing at that thought.  What was inside, typical to most of these boxes, were dozens of the most random set of objects imaginable...coins, stamps, small toys, patches, gadgets of all kinds.  Imagine that everyone in your family gathered up all the random little things laying around in their rooms or stuffed in the back of their junk drawers and threw them all in a you've got the picture.  The most valuable item in the box was a "traveling" dollar bill.  But you couldn't keep it; you could only carry it to another box (aka help it travel).  Sum total value of the entire contents?  I'm guessing about $3.27 and that's probably generous.  Considering the gas, travel time, snacks to sustain us on the hunt, I wouldn't say the monetary value was a very good return on our investment.


Now, of course, this was all a game and we had no real expectations of coming home independently wealthy.  However, I wonder if this small treasure hunt doesn't sometime mirror our lives.


The Psalmist writes:


"Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things

and give me life in Your ways." 

Psalm 119:37


Do you ever find yourself trailing after this treasure or that treasure only to find the end goal to be a waste of your time?  We spin our wheels and spend our energy in pursuit of the worthless, the trivial, the fleeting.  We wear ourselves out hunting and pushing toward gains that leave us feeling empty and disappointed.


The remedy?  Three simple verses point us to a treasure well worth the hunt.  Appealing to our sense of taste, our desire for clear direction and our love of a good treasure hunt, we read:








The ultimate treasure hunt, then, is in seeking God through the precious words He has spoken, guiding us to His salvation.


"My soul longs for Your salvation.

I hope in Your word."

Psalm 119:81


What treasures are you seeking?




Thanks for reading.


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian God Psalm disappointment hunt journey photography riches salvation treasure Wed, 21 Oct 2015 01:26:48 GMT
52 Weeks: #41 A Choice, a Promise, & a Challenge The first chapter of Genesis chronicles the events of creation.  However, that is far from the only instance where God places His signature on His masterpiece. 


Consider these:





From this second verse, God makes two points beyond the declaration of His role as Creator.  First, He states the earth was made to be inhabited, inhabited by us, his created beings.  Secondly, He declares, having authored the world into existence, that He is the only Lord.  Some may wince at this exclusive declaration.  However, simple logic states that either God is Creator, and therefore the only logical Lord.  Or He is lying, making Him unworthy of our devotion.  He leaves no room for other options.

We are at a crossroads of decision then.  We accept Him as the ultimate, Lord and Creator, or we reject Him as neither.


For those that accept Him, a promise and a challenge follow.


First a promise of strength and help.




And with our strength and help secured through our Lord and Creator, a challenge follows:



He offers, rains down, righteousness and salvation upon His creation.  But then He call us, the earth, to be open to these blessings and give them a place to sprout in our lives.




A Choice


A Promise


A Challenge


What do you choose?


WHO do you choose?



Who do you know that needs to embrace the strength of the Creator?  Perhaps these words could offer encouragement.


As always, thanks for reading.



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Choice Creator God Isaiah Lord creation photography promise righteousness Tue, 13 Oct 2015 00:53:18 GMT
52 Weeks: #40 Sleepless Nights How many times could you have said these words:


"My soul yearns for You in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks You."  (Isaiah 26:9)


How long has it been since you've had one of those nights where the challenges of the day warred for your attention in the night, sending you running for comfort? 


When was the last time?  This year?  This month?  Last night?


Pain, fear, anxiety, grief, indecision, uncertainty rob the respite a night's sleep offers.  Physical challenges, financial worries, family strife, loss, stress, and the list goes on.  Some of these challenges press in for short times while others seem to loom and threaten for seemingly unending stretches, pulling and straining on our existing internal resources until we feel exhausted, deflated, and dejected, tossing and turning through sleepless nights.


My energy, my resources, my strength waste away as I grapple with my frets, anxieties, worries and fears.  I rise in the morning feeling even more weary than when I laid my head down to seek rest.


Where do you turn when this world's chaos threatens to rob you of your peace?



What an amazing promise!  This almost sounds too good, too simple, to be true.  Just keep your mind stayed (or steady) on God.  So simple, yet so profound.  But how do we know we can trust Him that much?  How can we anchor this trust?


We can trust Him because He has always been there for His people.  He has a faithful and sure track record.



He is our rock.  He is solid, secure and steady.  He is not going to leave.



His paths will guide us.  He will never lead us astray.



And, when all is said and done in this world, with all its mess and chaos, God has a home ready for His children.  And not just any home, but one where death is swallowed up and tears are wiped forever dry. 



With these promises in place, we can ease our wakeful restless nights praying these words in full assurance:



May your nights be peaceful, nestled into the loving arms of our Father, our Creator, our Lord, our Savior.


Do you know anyone going through a troubling time?  Perhaps these few words of assurance will help them hang on.  Pass it on.




Thanks for reading.

Leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you.




Rachel Welborn




[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible God Isaiah Jesus chaos peace photography restless sleepless trust worry Tue, 06 Oct 2015 02:18:58 GMT
52 Weeks: #39 The 2700 Year Old Promise A promise was made over 2,700 years ago.


But here is what is absolutely amazing about it:  The promise was made to you, and to me.


It comes from the gentle Father's voice.  Here is the promise:



But, Lord, surely You don't know what all I've done!  You must not know all my sin, my filth, the hateful, sinful, selfish choices I've made.  Some stains are just too deep to wash that white.  There's always that little remnant of the stain, the shadow of the filth that just won't release.


He answers in yet another promise:



A son.  But not just any son, God's Son.  Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  That's who is promised.  That's what God is willing to do for you, for me, for all of mankind. 


The promise is amazing all by itself!  Yet one aspect of this particular promise makes it even more awe inspiring.  Note that it is spoken in present tense as if the Son is given now at the time of the writing.  However, these words were spoken over 700 years before the incredible Bethlehem night that changed everything.  For God, the promise was made and was so certain, so absolute that it was as if the act was already accomplished.


And the response to the promises?  That was foretold, too.



Two promises, one response.  Predicted over 27 centuries before, yet just as true and available and real for us today as for anyone since the coming of the small baby on that starry night heralded the start of the salvation gift to all of mankind.


With joy, we all can draw water from the well of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)


Praise be to the God of all, Giver of amazing gifts, Keeper of Promises.



Do you know someone that needs to hear the joy of these promises?  Consider sharing.


And as always, thanks for reading.




Rachel Welborn




[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God Jesus Promise gift photography prophesy salvation Fri, 25 Sep 2015 02:22:45 GMT
52 Weeks: #38 The Offer This is a real story, but the names are removed.  Also, a warning that it describes some rather difficult events.  The story begins.


She lay there mentally ticking off the minutes.  Waiting.  He will be gone soon.  Just a few more minutes.  Hold it together.


Then he was done.  Gone with as little emotion as when he came.  Simply tossing a few dollars in her direction as he left.  No words.  No tenderness.  No promises.  Just gone.


She slowly sat up and buried her head in her hands.  She felt dirty, used, abused and empty.  How did she get here?  Where was the innocent little girl’s dreams she once held?  They were barely visible in the distance through the fog that was her ever present chaos.


Night after night, hour by hour, they came.  Using, grabbing, taking.  All just for a few meager coins, barely enough to keep the hunger of her growling stomach at bay for another day.  Yet she continues, feeling trapped and trampled in the life into which she has stumbled.  She didn’t plan to be here.  She can’t even remember how it happened.


But here she sits.  Raw, bare, and feeling nothing.  Feeling was too painful.  It was better to just be numb. 


And then another knock at the door.  She freezes in the dim silence, too tired to perform again.


“Open the door.  I know you’re in there.”


This one is persistent.


Oh well, a few more minutes – a few more dollars.


She opens the door and squints at the figure silhouetted against the street lights outside.  He looked vaguely familiar, but she was certain he hadn’t been here before.  But what did it matter?


She turned her back and walked a few steps back into the room and waited, steeling herself to what would come.


But only stillness and quiet followed as he simply stood at the open door.


Annoyed at the delay of the inevitable, she turned to face him, not bothering to hide her irritation.


“Marry me,” he said quietly, but clearly.


“Ah, so that’s the game tonight,” she thought.  How ironic!  The one thing for which she could never hope again!  Just a game.


“Sure,” she retorted, failing miserably to hold back the sarcasm as the piercing pain of the question stabbed deeply into her heart.


“Thank you,” came his simple reply.  He stepped back into the night for just a moment, returning with a large box which he gently laid on the bed.


Then turning to face her, he simply said, “I will return for you in the morning to bring you home to be my wife."  Pausing at the door, he tapped the lock and said, “Secure this when I leave.  You are mine alone now.”


He closed the door and waited until he heard the gentle click of the lock as she slid it into place.


Stunned by the past few moment’s encounter, she slowly walked to the box left by the puzzling visitor.  Lifting the lid, she gasped as the dim light in the dingy room contrasted the delicate pure white fabric of the gown, gently tucked inside.  She gingerly lifted the dress and inspected it.  Underneath were fresh, white undergarments and beautiful white shoes – everything she would need for her wedding day, and just her size.  How could this mysterious stranger know her so intimately?  Had he been watching her?  Had they met?


There did seem to be something vaguely familiar about him, but what?  As she pondered, her hand touched a small piece of paper tucked under the garments.  Pulling it from its hiding place, she held it up to the dingy light, revealing a delivery address and name.


No!  That can’t be right!


Holding the paper closer to the light, she read it again.  Yes, she knew the address.  She knew the name.


Everyone knew the address of the palace.  And even the lowliest of peasants recognized the name of the King’s only son!


In that moment, clarity came.  That vaguely familiar figure she had seen from afar many times.  But how did he know her?  When had he ever given a glance or thought in her direction?  And why?  Why her when any woman would gladly have accepted this offer?


Through the remainder of the night she tossed and turned.  Indecision, confusion, unworthiness and hope warred within her as she wrestled with the morning’s promise.  Part of her wanted to just slip away into the night knowing she could never measure up to what he deserved or wanted.  She was so unworthy!  But still, the offer of a life of love in the palace of the king is the kind of offer that makes for little girl’s dreams and lasting fairy tales.  Dare she dream of redemption, an undeserved rescue from the dirty, dismal, hopeless world she had built around herself?


As dawn’s light began to softly glow, she resolved.


Rising from bed, determined, she…



How does the story end?  Good question.  No, this is not a fairy tale.  Yes, it is a true story.


Told through the real lives of Hosea and Gomer in #38 of the 52 Week Challenge, God calls His people, stained and soiled by this world to become His beloved bride.


But I can’t tell you how the story ends.  You see, the true story is written by you, and by me, in our own individual lives.  Do we accept the incredible offer beyond our wildest dreams and hopes?  Or do we choose to wallow in our past mistakes and failures?


What would you do – continue in a dismal existence or accept the offer of the Son of the King?


What will you do?



May we always choose to end our stories with accepting the gift.  Because that ending is just the beginning.


Thanks for reading!



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God Hosea Redeemer betroth marriage photography redemption wedding Sat, 19 Sep 2015 01:41:02 GMT
52 Weeks: #37 Move! Movement, motion.  It’s kind of funny.  It can be really great or very annoying.


For instance, a gentle rocking in a mother’s arms can soothe a tearful baby.  Yet a similar rocking of a ship can leave its passengers feeling dizzy and dismal.


And the absence of movement is similar.  After a long, busy day, a quiet, still evening is a blessing.  But to the one who feels shut off from companionship or who is battling a long illness, that same quiet stillness can magnify the sense of loneliness and despair.


Movement of the wind can cool a stifling day or can mangle trees and demolish buildings.




In the tiny little book of Amos, #37 of the 52 Week Challenge readings, God’s prophet records some interesting paradoxes about movement.  Consider these motions.



Simple movement


The earth’s rotation taking us from day to night,


And the cycle of rain that draws up from the sea, waters the earth, then returns to the sea.


While complex, both are movements that we learn to predict and appreciate from a fairly young age.  Movements that drive our activities, set our clocks, and nourish our crops and families. 


Predictable movement.  Stable motion. 


The very predictability of these complex systems point to a Master Creator.  Left to human devises and schemes, motion tends to wind down and stop.  For instance, have you ever tried to keep a simple child’s top spinning?  It’s a simple process, simple design, but I just can’t keep it going on my own.


Yet God designed and created movement, motion that, by its very predictability, demonstrates His majesty.


Continual motion.  Continual reminder of the Creator.


But then Amos records God’s perspective on us when we practice a different sort of continual motion. 


"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.  Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look up on them. Take away from me the noise of your songs, to the melody of your harps I will not listen." (Amos 5:21-23)


Then He adds these words:



Through these few short verses, God calls us to get out of our human ruts of going through the motions of worship while our hearts sit motionless.  He reminds us that the motions of worship without hearts dedicated to justice and righteousness are meaningless to Him.


With straightforward words, God calls His people to movement, a movement of righteousness that is ever flowing, to justice that rolls down.


Movement.  Meaningful, purposeful movement.



A simple summary:


Seek the Lord and live. (Amos 5:6)


Let’s move!  Let's live!




As always, thanks for reading.



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Amos Bible God creation motion movement nature photography worship Mon, 14 Sep 2015 17:10:24 GMT
52 Weeks: #36 Doing the Unexpected The odds are 3:1 against you.  The threefold enemy is strong and united, aiming toward your defeat.  What do you do?  What are you feeling? 


Scared?  Sure!  


Uncertain?  You bet!


So was Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, when three nearby kings united to seek his nation’s demise.  Three to one.  Not good odds, especially when you’re on the “one” side of the equation.


Here’s the story as told in the 20th chapter of II Chronicles.


“Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the Lord.”


What a blessing when the leader of the battle seeks God!


And the people followed his lead.


“And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.”




United in fear and in weakness


United in seeking God.


And united in prayer:


“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not the God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.  In Your hand are power and might so that none is able to withstand You.”


United in humility


“We are powerless against the great horde that is coming against us.  We do not know what to do, but…



United in trust.


And God answered.


“Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”


“You will not need to fight in this battle.  Stand firm, hold your position and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf…Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed.  Tomorrow go out against them and the Lord will be with you.”


“And all the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord and worshiped the Lord.”


United in worship.


Now here’s an interesting detail.


On the day of the showdown, Jehoshaphat takes an unexpected action.  He appointed singers, dressed in holy attire, to go before the army.


No shields or weapons.  Just a song of praise.  Here is the simple song:



And here is the result:


“And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men who had come against Judah.”


The awesome power of God granted salvation to a people, humbled in trust, singing His praises before the battle even begins.  What an incredible example for us today!


So how about you?  Ever felt like you were in a battle against the odds?  Anxiety, fear, indecision overwhelming you? 


Where do I turn?  What do I do?


Perhaps, like Judah, we fall to our knees in humility, admitting our human frailties and dependence on the Almighty One, and earnestly seek Him.


Then we sing.  In trusting faith, standing firm, acknowledging His everlasting love and power.


We celebrate ahead of the battle, ahead of our own pitiful defenses, His love and His faithfulness, trusting His Plan and His Power and His Love.


Let the songs begin!


Do you know someone that’s in a battle?  Maybe these few words would help encourage them.  Consider passing this along.


As always, thanks for reading. 



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible God Savior Unexpected dependence faithfulness photography surprise trust Wed, 09 Sep 2015 18:28:38 GMT
52 Weeks: #35 Against the Odds What would you do? 


Here you are, the country’s leadership has abandoned God, and in fact, has gone so far as to form an army of religious leaders that not only oppose God, but actually promote a religion that God adamantly forbade.  You alone are left standing against them all.


What do you do?


Do you boldly stand up for the Lord?  Quietly sit back to see what happens, maybe waiting for someone else to take a stand?  Or do you just shrug your shoulders and give in to the culture’s norms?


What if standing up may mean you lose your life?


Here stands Elijah. 


The leader of his day, King Ahab, has abandoned God.  In fact, consider this description, “Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.”(I Kings 16:33).  Given his predecessors’ track records, that was a pretty harsh statement.  One of the wrongs in Ahab’s long list of actions straying from God was to establish the idol Baal as the item to worship, and in such, rejecting God.


Within a short time, Ahab had swept through the land cutting off the Lord’s prophets, sending them into hiding in order to preserve their lives.  A troupe of 450 false prophets aligning with Ahab in Baal worship stood in their places.


And now Ahab seeks to kill Elijah.


What does Elijah do?


In complete trust of God, Elijah calls for a showdown.   Who is the true god:  The Lord Jehovah or Baal?


The story unfolds with a simple contest. Atop Mouth Carmel for all to see, Baal’s followers and Elijah each place a bull upon an altar.  Here is Elijah’s challenge:  “You call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” (I Kings 18:24)


Baal’s prophets step up first.  After hours and hours of calling out to Baal, these simple words are recorded, “No one answered; no one paid attention.”


Now Elijah’s turn.  To remove any doubt from onlookers, Elijah digs a trench around his altar and invites them to pour gallons and gallons of water over Elijah’s bull, wood and stone altar, until the whole was drenched and the trench overflowed.  Then, Elijah offers a simple prayer.  “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their hearts back.” (I Kings 18:36-37)


And God answers…undeniably.  “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, ‘The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.’” (I Kings 18:38-39)


Amazing story!  One man stands on a mountaintop against the crowd, against the culture, against the leadership, at risk of his life.


And God answers.


So what about you and me?  How different is our world from Elijah’s?  Do we see leaders abandoning God?  Making actions legal or illegal against God’s will?  Maybe, more than we care to admit, our worlds are becoming more and more similar.


What will you do?  What will I do?


Can we join Elijah on the mountain, standing for the Lord?  Can we join him with these words?

May God’s followers always have the trust to stand, even when the odds seem stacked high.


In the end, God prevails.



Praying that we all stand,



Rachel Welborn






[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Courage Elijah God faith mountain photography trust Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:09:14 GMT
52 Weeks: #34 The Love Story Over the centuries of man’s existence, countless love stories have been written.  Many transcend both generations and continents such as Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Prince Charming, and Beauty and the Beast.  We all know the stories.  However, a love story even more compelling was recorded that may not be as well known.


Tucked near the middle of the Bible is the book, Song of Solomon, a short narrative containing only eight chapters.  Surprisingly, this book does not mention God at all.  Yet His fingerprints are all over the story as the writer depicts the kind of love God designed between husband and wife.  The two main characters in the story are never named.  We, as the reader, then can simply place ourselves into the story and get a sense the exclusiveness, tenderness, and joy that God molded into this most intimate of human relationships.


As the writer unfolds this dialogue between husband and wife, a number of building blocks to a strong marriage emerge.  As a wife, I was struck by these simple, yet imperative marriage-fortifying truths.  Here are a few insights into true marriage intimacy gleaned from this small window into the love story.



Marriage intimacy is exclusive.  The husband and wife have taken vows to devote their most intimate selves to each other alone.  They no longer belong to themselves; rather they have given themselves to each other.  Selfishness and self-centeredness have no place in a strong marriage, nor does “innocent” dabbling in intimacy with others outside the marriage bond.



Marriage invites intimacy.  The physical relationship reserved for marriage is the most intimate of human experiences.  Becoming physically one through the sexual experience provides much more than just a physical pleasure and release.  God has designed the experience to bond husband and wife emotionally through the unique release of hormones in our bodies in the process that actually program our brains to bond as our bodies join.  (See the note below to learn more.)  Thus, the marriage intimacy needs intentional work.  Husband and wife invite each other to strengthen the growing bonds on a regular basis.



Marriage seeks time together.  In this crazy world of technology, we are constantly bombarded with information and distractions.  Phones, emails, texts, television, news feeds, social media…you name it, it is on and pulling at our attention strings 24-7.  And that doesn’t even mention the day to day tasks of work, school, family obligations, and friendships.  Taken together, it is easy to put the marriage relationship on the back burner as we bustle about nurturing our children, tending to chores, or keeping the “to do” tasks at work at bay.  But marriage requires one-on-one time to connect, regroup, and re-energize.  Strong marriages make a regular practice of seeking time together as a couple, time that is untethered from distractions, whether that is children, chores, workload or just simply setting our phones down. 



Marriage uplifts and honors.  The exchange preceding this verse is interesting.  The wife’s friends simply ask her, “What makes your husband so special?”  A hint of sarcasm seems to be in their voices.  Her response begins with the words, “Distinguished among ten thousand” (verse 10) and continues with a sweet description of what she loves about her husband.  She bookends her words at the close of her response with the statement above, “This is my beloved and this is my friend.”  What impact do you think it would have on marriages today if every husband and wife only spoke words that uplifted and honored their spouses in public conversations?  What jokes would end?  How would conversations over lunch with friends or at the water cooler at work change?  Because of the vulnerable intimacy exchanged in marriage, husband and wife should be each other’s greatest protector and encourager.  We have the greatest power to uphold as well as to crush our spouse’s spirits in the simple choice of our words.  Strong marriages chose to honor and uplift.


For those of us that are married, perhaps you, like me, see some opportunities to strengthen your marriage in these simple truths.  For those not married, two thoughts.  If you are seeking a life-mate, consider that choice carefully.  These traits don’t grow themselves magically after marriage.  If the foundations of honor, love and respect are not there before marriage, don’t expect them to suddenly pop into existence after the “I do.”  Secondly, honor the exclusive relationship designed for marriage.  In everyday life that means that you respect boundaries of those that are married but also that you hold fast boundaries within your own life until you have found the person that will join you on this intimate journey.  The wait is worth the reward!


If you haven’t read the whole story, I’d encourage you to grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable spot, and take it in start to finish.  Find a version that shows who is speaking, similar to a script to a play, so that you get the true sense of the conversation that is taking place.  Here is an online version that I found helpful:


God, grant us strong marriages.  Give us humble, seeking, honoring hearts for You and for our spouses.


*For more information on the chemical bonds in marriage intimacy, here are a couple of resources:

Gift of Purity by Rachel Welborn


Hooked by Joe McIlhaney and Frieda Bush




As always, thanks for reading.  Do you know someone that could use some marriage encouragement?  Maybe a few words from this would help.  Feel free to share.




Rachel Welborn


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible God Marriage exclusiveness husband intimacy love photography wife Sun, 23 Aug 2015 17:42:25 GMT
52 Weeks: #33 Which Way? Which Way?


Have you ever been lost?  Not just the “oops I took the wrong turn but will turn around and get back on track” lost, but rather the “I have no idea where I am and I’m feeling a bit panicky” kind of lost.  That’s a whole different kind of lost.  Maybe you’ve been there as an adult or maybe you had that experience as a child.  Either way, that feeling of anxiousness and alarm send your heart racing and nerves jumping.  It is downright scary, especially if the place to which you’ve wandered feels unsafe and threatening.  Remote locations, unexplained noises from the nearby darkness, intimidating glares from people you pass, all of these multiple anxiety over the situation.


Have you been there?  Do you feel your pulse rising a bit as you remember those times?  I do!  And I’m reminded that this is an experience I don’t want to repeat!




But how did that happen?  Did you wake up that day and think, “Hey, I think I’ll get lost today and see what happens”?  I doubt it.  For most of us, our lost situation probably started with inattention to our path, a lack of charting a course before beginning the journey, perhaps neglecting to check reliable sources before heading out, or possibly depending on unreliable or incomplete information?  Or maybe it was simply distractions around us.  At our house, we call this the “Ooo shiny!” complex.  That’s when we are heading down a course, but something interesting (aka “shiny”) catches our attention and draws us off course.  It is when you go to the store for one thing but end up with a basket full of other things (and forgot what you came to get.)  Or perhaps these distractions were internal.  You were thinking about something and simply forgot to pay attention to where you were headed.  Suddenly you “wake up” and realize you don’t know where you are.




Regardless of how you and I got there, lost is still lost.  We feel helpless, alone, and perhaps a bit fearful.


You begin calling out for help, or searching diligently for the right path.  Perhaps you look for familiar landmarks or dig out the crumpled map.  But you begin seeking answers, directions to get back on course, back to a place of security and safety.  And since you are reading this article, chances are pretty good that you found your way back.  You may have gotten help from others to guide you back to the path or you may have found it on your own through diligent searching.  Either way, you’re back.  You’re safe.  And you rest.


We didn’t get lost on purpose, but we are eager to find the way back to safety and security.


And so it is with our spiritual walk.  Sometimes we feel lost and alone, not sure where we should be or where we should turn.  We didn’t intend to go wandering off, but yet here we are.  In a place that feels threatening and unfamiliar.  We cry out for help, we grasp the hands of those nearby that can help guide us to safety, we seek the Great Deliverer.  And He is there.  God delivers, guides, retrieves us from the lost, scary places into which we wander.  He knows our paths.  He has laid before us a way that leads us to a life with Him.


So from this week’s readings come a few simple reminders of the loving guidance our God and Father offer us as we continue on this life’s journey.





Where are you going today?


Thanks for reading.



Rachel Welborn


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God daily walk deliverance fear guidance lost nature panic photography Mon, 17 Aug 2015 18:17:17 GMT
52 Weeks: #32 Just One Just One.


I’ve been thinking…what are the things you want in your life, but you only want one?


Hmmm.  Let’s see…


I am quite happy with only one husband.  I love him.  I’m thankful for him, but quite content with only one, thank you.  We have one of those “till death do you part” covenants which I thoroughly plan to keep.  Just one, please.


I have one house.  That’s plenty for me.  I’m thankful for that blessing, but one is plenty.  I enjoy having the comfort of our home and being able to use that blessing in ministry.  God has provided.  I am quite content with just one.  Besides, who would help me clean another one??


I’ve got a few kitchen gadgets where one is plenty, but I wouldn’t greatly miss most of them if I didn’t have them.  Perhaps there’d be a few inconveniences, but I’d manage o.k.  So, while one is nice, it isn’t critical.


And then there are a few things where one is just not enough.  For instance, one tooth would be kind of useless as would a car with only one wheel.  And moments with my family?  Well, I can never get too many of those.


During this week’s 52 Challenge, several significant “Just Ones” appeared.  What do you think of these?


Just One…



                Supreme One


Just One…


                Creator of Wondrous Things


Just One…


                                            Founder of the Universe.


Just One.

                                But plenty.




                                                                                                Filling all our needs.


Yes, I want The One, but I only want The One.


He is in control.  He created, possesses, and loves His world and His children.


This is My Father’s World.  He holds it.  He is the Only One.


Just One, but all I need.


How about you?




Thanks for reading, friends.


Rachel Welborn




[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible God Just One creation nature photography satisfying unique world Wed, 12 Aug 2015 01:38:42 GMT
52 Weeks: #31 Come and See The 52 Week Challenge readings for the past seven days have primarily been from the Psalms.  With such incredible imagery in words depicted there, I tagged a number of verses to consider for this week's blog.  However, when I came to one particular verse, I knew it would be the central theme. 


Some of you may know the story of Come and See Photography, but for those that do not, please allow me to share a bit.  I have always loved photography and with the gift of my first digital camera came also the freedom to explore without wrestling with budget constraints of developing film.  So, now I had the gift of artistic discovery at my fingertips, literally.  What a blessing!


Through months of learning, experimenting and lots of deleting, I began to find true joy in capturing a brief glimpse of God's magnificent creation.  As my passion for the art form grew, so did my repertoire of photographs.  In time, I began to seek a way to share these hints of God with others.  His handiwork, His creations, His glory.


Thus was born Come and See Photography. 


But the significance is in the name of my business.  My continual intent is to keep God as central to this work.  This is His world; we are His adoring children, created by His loving hands along with a myriad of other expressions of His creativity, imagination, and power.


So, the verse?


"Come and see what God has done,

His awesome deeds for mankind!"

Psalm 66:5


So indulge me a moment as I simply share with you some of my favorite captures of God's glorious handiwork.



"Come and see what God has done,

His awesome deeds for mankind!"

Psalm 66:5


Take a look around this week.  Where do you see God's creative handiwork?



Thanks for reading.




Rachel Welborn

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Come and See Photography, God beauty creation design nature photography Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:15:00 GMT
52 Weeks: #30 The Last Thing What's the last thing you do at night before you turn off the light and call it a day?  If you're like me, you may have a few "wind down" triggers that tell your brain you're settling in for the night.  I've got a routine, a few things I like to do to just chill out.  If I skip them, it's harder for me to shut off my brain for the night.


For lots of folks in today's culture those last things involve electronics in some way:  a favorite TV show, checking email one last time, reading through the day's social media feeds to see what's been going on with friends, messaging, checking tomorrow's events on your electronic calendar, listening to music, playing an electronic game...and the list goes on. 


What if?


What if you didn't have those electronic distractions as you get ready to close your eyes?


What if you were camping with no electricity?


Or what if you were living out in the wild with no electronic options?


What do you think you would do in those last hours of daylight?


Imagine for a moment that you are sitting on a hillside in this unplugged world, the sun is setting and bedtime is nearing.  What gets your last moments of wakeful attention now?


Consider the thoughts of one who has lived this life.





Unplugged.  But wide awake.  Senses taking it all in.


Alert to God who is never far, showing His handiwork for our delight.


And as amazing as all of the blazing stars in God's spacious firmament, He stops.  He looks down.  And He notices you and me.


And He smiles.


He smiles a huge unplugged glorious sunset, shimmering full moon, starry night smile.


So maybe.  Just maybe.  Being unplugged is not a bad idea.


Perhaps tonight we might try this simple experiment.  Turn off the electronic buzzing, blinking, news-feeding distractions and go outside to simply gaze at the stars before closing our eyes for the night.  In those moments of quiet, calm, unplugged silence, perhaps, just perhaps, we can feel the peaceful presence of our loving Father as He turns on the Nightlights, sings us a song with the crickets and frogs as accompaniment, and says, "Good night, My children.  I love you."


See you later.  I'm unplugging.  I hear crickets calling.




Oh, but before I go, thanks for reading. 


Rachel Welborn





[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge, God bedtime distractions love peace photography quiet unplugged Sun, 26 Jul 2015 00:43:34 GMT
52 Weeks: #29 Control I've got this all under control.  I have a plan:  close on the house at the end of June, but we don't have to be out of the old house until the end of July.  So I've got a month to methodically make the move with my family and get settled.  No problem.  The new grandbaby is due early July.  My assigned "baby support" week is mid-July.  That still fits nicely into my plans.  I have it all under control.


And then life happens.


My sweet grandson is two weeks late.  And delivered by C-section meaning mom needs help longer than we anticipated with an active two year old running around at her feet also.


I'll save you from all the details of the frantic, chaotic scrambling of my plans that were so much in my control (or so I thought), but suffice it to say this past week was a whirlwind of boxes, shifted schedules, packing and unpacking, and lots of running so I can help be the support network for my children, which, of course, I wouldn't miss for the world!


As I reflect on this past week's crazy activities and the Bible readings, I am particularly drawn to three passages.




I find so much comfort in knowing that God knows me, really knows me.  He knows when I'm stressed, anxious, and struggling.  He knows when my plans have gone haywire and He knows how my heart is reacting to life's events.  So whether life is going smoothly or not, the Father knows.  And He cares. 


But even more importantly, He has all things in His hands.  Everything belongs to Him and He is in His control.



I find great peace in knowing my Lord is on His throne.  He is King and He has the greatness, power, glory, victory and majesty in His control.  Yet even with the entire universe, all of heaven and earth in His hands, He knows me.  He takes time to consider me, my heart, my thoughts, my plans.  And He loves me. 


So I can find peace in my chaos, knowing that the Master Planner has all things well in hand.



How about you?  How is your week going?  No matter what, take comfort in a loving Father that knows what you are going through, good or bad, and He has all things in His hands.  It might not make sense right now, and it might not be going according to what you had planned, but He is there.  He knows.  And He cares.



Thanks for reading.  Take a moment to leave a thought.  How is your week going?


Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography





[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Control God chaos disruptions photography plans power Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:29:43 GMT
52 Weeks: #28 Restored When my parents were newlyweds, money was tight.  And as three little ones came along in stair-step fashion, that situation didn’t change for a number of years.  But my parents were both very resourceful and talented.  Mom loved to find projects at the “junk-tique” stores, as we called them.  You’ve probably seen these stores.  They are the ones that have old stuff, antiques, but that have lived a hard life pushing them to the edge of “junk.”


But Mom would shop until she found a promising “treasure,”  perhaps a dresser that just needed to be tightened up, a table that just need refinishing, or a chair that needed to be recovered.  Then the tedious work would begin to restore the promising piece of near-junk to a fine antique.  Hours of sanding, stripping, disassembling in order to reach the raw, clean surfaces…all just to begin the process of restoring.  However, once stripped bare, the joy of rebuilding could begin as the beauty of the finished project began to emerge.  Like new, but even better.  The hard knocks had led to a different kind of beauty.  Not perfection.  Yet a rich loveliness deepened through pain, toil, sweat resulting in a transformation of that which was worthy of being discarded being fully restored.




What a great word. 


An opportunity to start again, restored to a former place of importance and significance.


And now the story from this week’s readings.  King David, Israel’s second king, was often referred to as a man after God’s own heart.   We see him cling to God through good and bad, literally running for his life because of human threats, yet holding unswervingly to God’s mighty hand.


But he fell.  And he fell hard!


Lust turned to adultery.  Adultery turned to deception.  Deception turned to murder.


How awful the details of the story!  How hard to read the completely selfish acts that ultimately cost two lives all so David could indulge in physical pleasures with a another man’s wife. 


How can he ever hope to recover from so much multi-layered tangled sinfulness?  How can God ever look on him with joy and kindness after such a horrible mess?


Junk.  Worthy of being discarded.


But God does not leave David there.  Through the prophet Nathan, God confronts David.


David’s response:  He is broken.  He allows the words of rebuke to strip through his layers of sinfulness and selfishness to leave his heart raw, tender, and exposed.


It is from this point, then, that the Master Creator can begin the work of restoring a heart that yields to His shaping hands, surrenders to His will, and allows the painful process of restoring to bring new joy and new thankfulness to the relationship.


Yes, the consequences of sin may leave marks that are still visible in the restoration, but the beauty that comes from a humble, submission, repentant heart will surpass that of the former state.


Consider these words from the tender broken heart of David as he yields to the Master Restorer.












Yes, we have fallen.  Yes, we will fall. 


Yet like David, God reaches out His hand to us to restore, to heal, to renew.


So, like David, when we respond with “Yes, Lord” we have hope, even in our worst conditions.


He loves.


He restores.


Thank you, Lord, for bringing us back to life in You.


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible God broken forgiveness photography renew repent restore Tue, 14 Jul 2015 02:16:40 GMT
52 Weeks: #27 Attacked! Pursued by the enemy, fearful for your life, death threat over your head.


That's where we find young David in week 27 of the 52 Week Challenge.  King Saul is on the throne but God has already rejected him for his arrogance and disobedience and has sent the prophet Samuel to anoint young David, a mere shepherd, as the next king.  While David has not usurped authority or threatened Saul in any way, Saul's jealousy over David's growing popularity brings out the very worst in him.  As Saul sees his public popularity dwindling, he turns his anger full force onto David, who ironically has been brought into the palace to comfort Saul with his harp playing.  Twice Saul attempts to pin David to the wall with a javelin before David final leaves the palace in fear for his life.  That didn't pacify Saul's envious spirit, though.  Instead, Saul went after David in hot pursuit, forcing a division in loyalties among the Israelites.  Saul and his armies pursuing David and his rag-tag followers.


During this time of impending danger, David the Psalmist wrote many of his most emotional Psalms.  As you might expect, his grief, fear and anxiety surface in many of them as he is constantly running, hiding, fighting just to stay alive. 


He is weary.  He is afraid.  He is distressed.


How about you?  Perhaps you are not literally running from someone seeking to take your life, but are you being "chased" by some other threat?  Something that causes you to lose sleep, feel tension and pressure?  Your muscles ache from tension and your head throbs.   When will it stop?  When will the pursuit by this threat end?  And how do I survive in the here and now when I am consumed with this trouble I am facing?


Perhaps David can help us with this last question.  Living in caves, scrounging for food, sleeping with one eye open, David remained solid in seeking God, knowing that He alone is the Sustainer.  God alone can provide comfort, strength, and guidance when the world around us gets dark, threatening, and scary.  Consider these simple metaphors David writes during this time of distress.


Just as a momma bird draws her chicks under her wings for safety, God draws us into His loving arms and holds us close.  He comforts as only He can with a peace that passes understanding.








Life threatens, making our paths dark, but God is there above the threat and will guide our paths when we seek Him.  He knows the way our steps should go.  The path may not always be easy, but His guidance will take us to the right destination.







So, when life threatens, when you feel afraid, consider David's words.  Run to the Father.  He is faithful.  He will sustain you through this world's challenges.


Run to Him.  Feel the comfort of His arms.  He loves His children.


May the God of all comfort grant you peace as you seek His will in the midst of your storms.


Did you find this helpful?  You may also want to read Week 6: When God Said "No."



I'm always grateful for your comments and your readership.  Join the conversation.


Thanks! Rachel


Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible God burdens challenges comfort fear peace photography refuge threats Sat, 04 Jul 2015 13:04:13 GMT
52 Weeks: #26 Chasing Bubbles

It’s summer time!  Time for playing outside, water activities, and…bubbles!  Probably all of us blew and chased bubbles as kids (and maybe as adults, too).  They are fun, whimsical, and beautiful floating in the summer breeze.  You can’t help but smile as you watch them take flight.  Start blowing bubbles around small children and they will likely start the chase to catch the delicate treats.  What fun!


Littler children, though, may get teary eyed with their first encounters with the tiny spheres.  They toddle, stumble, and chase only to find that their reward for success disappears at their touch.  How disappointing!  How frustrating!  I put forth all of this effort to chase the pretty shiny object only to have it disintegrate right before my eyes!


Do you know that feeling?  Perhaps it wasn’t bubbles you were chasing but rather something that you thought would bring you joy or pleasure.  Maybe the bubble was a relationship, maybe a rung on the career ladder, maybe a recreational pursuit, or… you fill in the blank. 


So you chased.  Only to be disappointed by the “catch.”  What you viewed as the next big prize turned out to be a disappointment.  Instead of fulfillment, you had empty hands and an empty heart. The pursuit wasn’t what you thought.  You have nothing of any value to show for it.


And it hurts.


What then?  Do we turn and pursue the next bubble, hoping that one will be more stable?  Or do we give up pursuing anything, just to go back and sit on the curb and watch the world go by?


While I’m not real sure if bubble blowing was an activity during the prophet Samuel's time, I am sure that chasing things that won't last has plagued the human race since the beginning.   Consider this simple warning Samuel spoke:

So we have before us many things that can consume our time and energy, many things to chase.  Some will leave us empty and disappointed while One will never leave us.  He is our enduring strength, offering a steadfast love and salvation to those that will seek Him.





What are you chasing?


May the Giver of all good and permanent gifts draw us ever closer to Him daily.



Thanks for reading.

Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bubbles God chasing disappointment everlasting permanent photography purpose pursuits secure value Sun, 28 Jun 2015 20:33:32 GMT
52 Weeks: #25 The Problem with Men...(and women) The classic story of Samson and Delilah is so powerful that its meaning carries beyond religious culture to infiltrate pop culture.  Being called a “Delilah” has a pretty clear (and not complimentary) meaning.  Likewise, the name “Samson” is synonymous with strength. 


So, many of us know the story.  But just to recap:  Samson is given unusual strength by God through a promise to his parents before his birth.  Thus, it wasn’t by anything he did; rather it was a gift from God.  However, Samson, while physically strong, had some pretty devastating weaknesses.  One in particular, his appetite for women, got him into trouble more than once, and ultimately ended in his loss of freedom, strength, his eyesight, and his very life.


Delilah was the final woman in Samson’s string of ungodly choices.  She, like Samson, had her own appetites which, as many today, she sought to satisfy with money!  When Samson became attracted to her, Delilah was approached by five of the leaders of her people to encourage her to seduce Samson in order to learn the source of his strength.  All for a price.  And the price was big!  In today’s dollars, the bribe was somewhere in the ballpark of $90,000.


As the story continues, we see Delilah accepting the bribe, resulting in this exchange with Samson:


“And she said to him, ‘How can you say I love you when your heart is not with me?...And when she pressed him hard day after day and urged him, his soul was vexed to death and he told her all his heart.” (Judges 16:15-17)


The “all his heart” part was, of course, the secret to his strength, which Delilah promptly exploited resulting ultimately in Samson’s death.


Appetites.  Hunger.  Desire.


All aimed in the wrong directions, seeking fulfillment from inadequate, temporary-fix sources, none of which offer true lifelong contentment and peace.


The book of Judges, through numerous refrains, outlines many more times that the Israelites misdirected their appetites away from God:

  • “They turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, and serving them.” 2:19
  • “They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways.” 2:19
  • “And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”  2:12; 4:1; 6:1
  • “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” 17:6


All of this in response to a God who:

  • Promises, “I will never break my covenant with you.” 2:1
  • Raised up a deliverer when the people returned to Him. 6:6


So, that was then.  They made foolish choices in satisfying their appetites.


This is now.  We’re smarter than that, right?  We don’t go off chasing useless, powerless things to fulfill our longings.


Yeah, I’m guilty, too. 


Human, stubborn, broken.  I find myself caught up in chasing the wind.


How thankful I am that we have a God that can and will satisfy all our hungry longings.

Thank you, Lord, for Your merciful provision for all of our needs, appetites, and desires.  Guide our paths to find satisfaction in You.


Do you know someone struggling with satisfying appetites in meaningless ways?  Perhaps this would help guide them to the Source for all.  Consider sharing.


Thanks for reading!

Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Delilah God Samson appetites flower nature photography satisfaction Sat, 20 Jun 2015 14:17:47 GMT
52 Weeks: #24 Seeking Our culture is busy climbing, seeking the next rung, next relationship, next job advancement, next thrill...the list continues.  This hungriness can lead us in a lot of directions, some good, some devastating. 


Yet we hunger.  We seek.  We climb.


But what are we seeking?


In one way or another, we seek a fulfillment, a completeness of sorts. 


Yet, in our own human imperfectness, we will never find completeness.  We need something more.  We need God.


But why?  What do we get from a relationship with God that we cannot get on our own?  Consider these descriptions of what our amazing Creator offers to us:


No challenge exists that God cannot defeat.  He goes before us.







He is a Rock. 

He isn't going anywhere. 

You can count on Him.

He will always guide you to what is right.







He is eternal. 

He was there before you and He will be there long after your life is over. 

He's got you covered...start to finish.






He invites you in to dwell with Him. 

You are home. 

You can be at peace in His presence

as the loving Father welcomes

His children to come home.







His love is steadfast, continually refreshing and encouraging.


So, what are you seeking?  Where are the holes in your life? 


Consider this: the Creator has all that you need.  He is eager to grant restful peace and sustaining love to His children.  You won't find this perfect peace and love anywhere else.  He is the only source.


Knowing what He offers, these words of encouragement make sense:


"Seek the Lord and His strength;

seek His presence continually." 

Psalm 105:4


What are you seeking?




Do you know someone that is striving, wrestling, seeking?  Consider passing these words of encouragement along.


As always, thanks for reading. 



Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography

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[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God Tired busy everlasting love faithfulness fulfillment nature photography seeking Sun, 14 Jun 2015 22:16:44 GMT
52 Weeks: #23: Who Is Your God? Who is your god?  To some, this might seem like a simplistic question, but to others, the choice is not really clear.  In our global society, we often hear of many beings that are worshiped. The Israelites were faced with the same dilemma as they neared the Promised Land of Canaan, the history of which was in #23 of the 52 Week Challenge recorded in the book of Deuteronomy.  Many different nations stood in front of them, each with their own different religious practices, customs and gods.  And God had just finished outlining His Law to the Israelites.  So, imagine you are in their shoes.  You've just been given a rather detailed set of moral guidelines to follow.  Now you are preparing to enter a new land with new people that embrace any imaginable practice (including burning their babies on an idol's altar) in the name of pleasing their gods.  Just find the right "god" and pretty much anything goes.  Prostitution, drunkenness, adultery, human sacrifice, name it, someone's god says it is O.K. and even considered worship.


Yet the God of the Bible calls His children to a higher moral standard.


Why would anyone choose to follow such strict morality when the rest of the world can do as they please, just by choosing to follow another god?


Here are two answers:


God is The God.  The world may follow many religious, or non-religious practices.  But at the end of it all, Jehovah God is supreme.  He is either supreme or He is a liar.  These words above do not allow for any other options.


Consider, too, these words.

The earth, heavens, and all that exists in either belong to the Lord God.  He is Creator and Sustainer of all that is.  As Creator, who better would know what is best for His creation?  As our Father, who better would love and care for His children? 


So, yes, we could choose to follow other gods.  Many can be named throughout the world.  Or we can choose to follow after other kinds of "gods," such as the gods of selfishness, pride, and self-gratification, all of which boil down to naming myself as my god.  With all of these options, why would we choose a god that calls us to holiness and purity?


Consider these words spoke to the Israelites as they pondered this question:


"And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you,

but to fear the Lord your God,

to walk in all His ways,

to love Him,

to serve the Lord your God

with all your heart and with all your soul

and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord

which I am commanding you today

for your good."

(Deuteronomy 10:12-13)


Wait a second!  That's a pretty tall order!  How is that supposed to motivate me to choose this God?


The answer is in the last three words:  "for your good."  The Creator knows His Creation.  He knows what environment and choices will lead to the best life.  He is the Author of the Human Owner's Manual.  And He knows that the guidance He provides is for our own good.  We, sometimes, in our relative infancy, cannot understand His Wisdom, just as a toddler does not always understand the guidance or restrictions a loving parent provides.  Yet, in trust, we can with confidence say that following God is our best option, for our own good.


So the final charge:




Who is your God?


As always, thanks for reading.



Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography




[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Creator God choices photography pride purity selfishness trust worldliness Sun, 07 Jun 2015 21:31:28 GMT
52 Weeks: #22 The Heart of God In the midst of a book that is primarily a declaration of laws, you might not expect much discussion of the heart.  Yet, in this week's 52 Week readings, the word "heart" is generously sprinkled throughout the text.  In fact, the word appears more than twice as many times in the book of Deuteronomy (this week's reading) as in any of the New Testament books.  So, clearly, God has been interested in having our hearts from the beginning. 


But what about His heart?  Why does He require ours?  Here are a few insights to help us grasp the nature of His Heart:


He is the one and only true God.  All others are false, powerless pursuits.


"Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart,

that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath;

there is no other."

Deuteronomy 4:29


He seeks our best.  Listen to the heart-cry of a Father in these words:


"Oh that they had such a heart as this always,

to fear me and to keep all my commandments,

that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!" 

Deuteronomy 5:29


The last three little words here show the purpose of God's commands:


"And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you,

but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him,

to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord,

which I am commanding you today for your good?

Deuteronomy 10:12-13


So, how do we respond?  We give the Great Heart of Hearts our hearts.  Reflect for a few moments on these passages below as responses to the One True God who seeks our best with a Father's Heart.  Notice, too, how these reminders of His heart are sprinkled throughout His creation.






Thanks be to God, who loves us with the Heart of Hearts.  Our only response is to offer Him ours.


As always, thanks for reading.

Rachel Welborn



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Deuteronomy God heart love nature photography Sat, 30 May 2015 15:31:50 GMT
52 Weeks: #21 Something a Little Different I love to sing.  The highlight of my college days was to be a part of the Freed-Hardeman University chorus under the direction of Kelly Doyle, an amazing man who inspired many of his students and treated us all like family.  Like many acappella Christian choral groups, we always closed our concerts with "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" written by Peter Lutkin. 


This song is based on Numbers 6:24-26, part of this week's readings in the 52 Week Challenge.  What I never noticed about the context of this passage is this:


God tells Moses to bless His people with these words.  So, while the words are asking God to bless us, God Himself gave us these words.  What an amazing perspective!  The One who can supply all that we ask invites us to ask of Him these words.


Because both the words and music have tremendous meaning to me, I have set some of my photography onto the backdrop of the beautiful song as recorded by the Freed-Hardeman Chorale under the direction of Dr. Gary McKnight.  Please take a moment to enjoy these few words of blessing from the great Giver of all blessings.


The Lord Bless You and Keep You video:


Do you have someone that could use some encouragement?  Someone you'd like to lift up with a blessing?  Perhaps these words would encourage them.  Who can you bless today?


As always, thanks for reading.

Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography







[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Freed-Hardeman University Gary McKnight God Kelly Doyle Lord Lord bless you Numbers 6:24-26 Peter Lutkin acappella blessing nature photography singing Mon, 25 May 2015 20:26:14 GMT
52 Weeks: #20 Forty-Nine Times 49 Times


I’m a mom.  I have two boys.  They are adults living on their own now.


But sometimes I repeat myself to my children, especially when they were younger.




Sometimes because I had forgotten I’d already told them something

Sometimes because I thought THEY had forgotten I’d already told them something

But sometimes, I repeated things because they were just that important!


49 times God repeats Himself in the book of Leviticus. 


He has just rescued the children of Israel from 400 years of slavery.  He has provided food for them every day, He has ensured they would be adequately clothed, and He has protected them from the enemy.  He even has given them a really big nightlight.


The Perfect Father.


Yet He repeats Himself to His children.


49 times.


He reminds them as He is providing guidance.


I am Lord:  I have supreme authority.


He reminds them that He brought them out of slavery.


I am Lord:  I am able to protect you.


And He reminds them when He calls them to holiness.


I am Lord:  Be holy because I am holy.


He is Lord, Master and Creator.


He guides, protects, and cares for His children.


49 times He reminded them. 


How many times does He need to remind you and me?



May we always remember.



Thanks for reading.

Drop a note; leave a comment.


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God I am the Lord Leviticus Lord authority child parent photography protection Sun, 17 May 2015 03:21:35 GMT
52 Weeks: #19 Not for the Squeamish! Blood!  Lots of it!


Poured, smeared, thrown.


Blood of innocent, helpless little ones.


Sounds like the latest slasher movie, doesn't it?


But, no.  Instead, it is a repetitive theme throughout Leviticus chapters three through seven.


Why so much blood?




Severed relationships with the Holy One.


The remedy?  Blood.


While other animals were offered at times and under various circumstances, frequently the animal sacrificed was a lamb, a lamb without spot or blemish. 



Lots of them.


Every time a person sinned and realized his or her guilt.


Lots of people, lots of sins, lots of lambs, lots of blood.


Gory, messy, bloody.


That's the price of sin.


"Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood,

and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." Hebrews 9:22


And then came Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God. 


Pure, Innocent, Spotless.


And then the blood.


Suffering, gory, messy, bloody scene.


For us.  For you and me.  For our sins.


Once for all times.


The sacrifice is finished.  The blood has been shed.



My life now is to live in thankful submission to my gracious Savior.


Thank you, Lord!



Thanks for reading.  Share with a friend.


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge God Jesus altar forgiveness lamb photography. sacrifice Sat, 09 May 2015 15:00:00 GMT
52 Weeks: #18 What's in Your Hand? I can so much related to Moses.  While the big screen may depict him as this magnificent, bigger-than-life hero, he started out as a pretty timid and unwilling participant in God's plan. 


As he first encounters God at the infamous burning bush, he is pretty intrigued by the moment.  However, once God starts outlining His plan for Moses, we see the reluctance emerge.  In the midst of that dialogue between God and man, God asks Moses a rather unexpected question.


"What's in your hand?"


Moses, being a shepherd, had the usual tool of the trade, his staff.  Now there wasn't anything overly special about the staff that we can tell from the narrative, rather just an ordinary shepherd's staff, probably made out of wood.


God says, "Throw it down."


So Moses throws it down in obedience to God's directions.


Obviously through God's amazing power, the staff turns into a snake.


And Moses' reaction to God's amazing feat?


Moses ran from it. 


Here is where the story gets interesting....and personal.  Suppose you were standing face-to-face with the God Almighty and He asks you what is in your hand.  Then He commands you to give it over to His service (aka "throw it on the ground").  Would you obediently hand it over?


And what if God then turned it into something that scared you?  Would you run from God's plan?  Yes, God, I agreed to hand this over to you, but I had no idea You'd turn it into something scary!


Would we have the courage to approach and touch the scary thing that God has in His plan?  God told Moses to go back to the snake and grab it by the tail.   Moses faithfully obeyed and the serpent transformed into the former staff.  Only now, the staff was more than just a stick.  Now Moses' staff was able to perform a useful purpose in God's plan as God retained in the stick the ability to return to the serpent form as a sign from God.  Because of God's touch, the tool that Moses surrendered to God's use became something even better than Moses could imagine.


So what's in your hand?  Will you give it to God?  And if so, will you run from His plan?  Or approach, touch and accept His plan.


I asked a few friends what was in their hands.  Here are things they shared.  Perhaps these can shed some light on some ways we might learn from God's interactions with Moses.  What would you be willing to surrender to God?






Your marriage?






















Your money?














Your career choices?










Your recreational choices?












How about your actions and decisions as a citizen?









Your physical appearance....

How you dress and present yourself to the world.










Your communication...

What you say,

what you share,

what you read.









Your family:









Your faith

Your understanding of God's will

Your willingness to share with others








So, what's in your hand?





Thanks for reading.  Share with a friend.  Leave a comment.





[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian God Moses faith family hand marriage money obedience photography Sun, 03 May 2015 02:12:47 GMT
52 Weeks: #17 I Know and I Am I heard about this guy once that endured sibling rivalry to the max.  Now I've got a brother and a sister and we have had our moments of pretty intense anger, but nothing like this guy had.  He endured unimaginable abuse at the hands of the very ones that should be looking out for him.  In fact, they would likely have killed him if their greed hadn't exceeded their hatred.  As it was, they ended up selling him to human traffickers that ended up taking him out of the country and selling him into the hands of a high ranking official in that country.  As it turned out, while still a slave, he was treated fairly well and very likely would have done fine had it not been for a false accuser that lied about him and got him thrown into jail.  Sitting to rot in a foreign jail cell, no real hope of release, the very ones that might have rallied for his release his family, were the ones responsible for him being there in the first place.  Hopeless.  Alone. 


There was this brief moment when it looked like his case might come to fair hearing, but in the end, the one with the power to do so got distracted with other affairs and just didn't take the case forward.


Been there?  Betrayal?  Hurt by those that should be your most faithful protectors?  Forgotten?  Alone?


I suspect every living human has experienced some or all of these emotions along the way, times when you just couldn't see why this was all happening to you?  Why me?  Why now?  What did I do to deserve this?  Do you know those words?


Me, too.


But Joseph's story didn't end there.  As the story continues to unfold in the latter chapters of Genesis, we see that God ultimately exalts Joseph to second in command in the land of Egypt, with only Pharaoh himself above him.  And it was Joseph whom God used to prepare the land to support and sustain Joseph and his family during a time of extended drought.  Towards the end of the account of Joseph's life comes a very important truth.  His brothers were facing him in fear for their lives now that their father had died.  They were terrified Joseph would now demand penalty and punishment for his early years of mistreatment at the hands of these brothers.  Yet think about these words that Joseph spoke to them, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today." (Genesis 50:20). 


Wow!  What an amazing perspective!  Joseph was able to wipe away the hurts and anger to see God's hand with him. That is usually easier to do after a battle is over.  Then we can sometimes see the path in hindsight and recognize God's hand in the story. 


It's harder, though, in the middle of the story.  We get caught up in the pain and confusion and find our eyes blurred to God's presence. 


But here are two other short reminders from this week's readings to help through those challenges.

I love this simple verse.  The context is this:  God's people are in slavery crying out to Him for deliverance.  And this is the very short but awesome response.  First, God saw.  He knows when His loved ones hurt.  He sees.  Then, God knew.  Now you might be asking, "God knew what?"  And while the text doesn't explain exactly.  The very next few verses begin to unfold the story of the people's deliverance.  God saw.  And God knew.  He knew He would provide what was needed.  He knew He had a plan.  He knew.


Here is the second truth:

This is God's response to Moses when he asks, "Who shall I say sent me?" as he prepares to face off with Pharaoh.  God's name for Himself is a little puzzling on the surface, but think about this: what else or who else can be compared to God?  The Master Creator simply says, "I Am."  There is no comparison; There is no one else.  And He adds, "This is my name forever." 


God Is!  And God will always be.  Forever.  No one compares to His power, His love, His wisdom.


He is here today the same as He was there for Joseph and Moses.  He sees and He knows.  You can hold on in trust even in the middle of the story.

I Am Who I Am

Has this world in His hands.

Thank you, Lord, for holding on to us in good times and in tough times.  Help us to trust in Your loving presence and power.



Thanks for reading.  Do you know someone that is struggling in the middle of their story?  Feel free to pass this on.

--Rachel Welborn

Come and See Photography






[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Exodus Genesis God I am Joseph betrayal comfort photography power sorrow struggle waterfalls Sat, 25 Apr 2015 01:57:54 GMT
52 Weeks: #16 What Is Your Name? Do you know the names of these flowers?
























How about this one?





“A rose


any other name

would smell

as sweet”









Most of us are familiar with this single line from William Shakespeare.  Essentially, in context, it says that your name doesn’t really change who you are.  But in Week 16 of the 52 Week Challenge readings, a very significant story is told around names.


For those not familiar with Jacob’s story told in Genesis, he had children by four different women.  Two of the women were sisters, Leah and Rachel, while the other two were the sisters’ maids, Zilpah and Bilhah.  Rachel was the one that Jacob loved the most, which grieved her sister greatly.  Leah, however, could become pregnant while Rachel, for a time, was unable to bear children.  This scenario set off a series of events that was reflected in the names of their children.  You see, back then, it was a common practice to name children and places according to their significance.  Thus, at the birth of each of the twelve sons, the feuding sisters tacked a name on each child declaring their perceived position in the battle for Jacob’s attention.  So, the names of these children, when translated and in context of the story are:


  • Behold, a Son                                   
  • God has heard
  • Joined to my husband
  • I will praise the Lord
  • God has judged
  • Wrestling with my sister
  • Good fortune has come
  • Happy am I
  • There is recompense
  • Now my husband will exalt me
  • Jehovah has added
  • Son of sorrow


So, I was thinking, what would my name have been had my parents chosen it based on their circumstances when I was born?  Would it have been a name of joy or one that denoted stress?  How about you?  Were you born into a family that loved you and was glad to receive you?  Or were the circumstances surrounding your birth less joyful?


Whether we were given a name specific to the situation or not, we often carry with us throughout life the circumstances of our birth and other events of our lives moving forward. 


Yet, regardless of our pasts, mine and yours, we are given a new name at our new birth into Christ. 



Here are a few more names God has given to His followers:


"Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people;

once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." I Peter 2:10



"Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."  I Corinthians 2:27



"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing;

but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15



“See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called

children of God; and so we are.”  I John 3:1



So regardless of the “name” you got from birth, once you have taken a place in God’s family you have a new name.  Through His loving kindness, he replaces all of the names and labels, both real and imagined that plague our pasts, and gives us names reflecting His love and acceptance of us as His children.  And, He even gives us a new scent to match! 


“For we are the aroma of Christ to God .”  II Corinthians 2:15


Thanks be to God that He can take away all of the names from our past and replace them with His name, sweet names.



Thanks for reading.  Please pass on to someone else that might need a word of encouragement today.



[email protected]

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 12 sons 52 Week Challenge Bible Christ Christian God Israel Jacob Jesus Name flowers jealousy nature photography rose Mon, 20 Apr 2015 00:56:14 GMT
52 Weeks: #15 What Are You Building? I visited Washington, DC, for the first time in 2009.  I knew very little about where to go and how to travel in the city.  Yet it was an imperative to me to see the nation’s monuments positioned in and around the Capital area.  Yes, I’d heard stories and seen many pictures such as Lincoln’s towering figure seated overlooking the Capital.  I’d seen photographs of people tracing their fingers across the names of loved ones on the Vietnam Wall.  And numerous photos of Arlington Cemetery can be readily found.



Yet until I stood as a tiny figure under Lincoln’s feet







and until I stood at the Wall,







and until I squinted my eyes in a vain effort to try to see the outer edge of the vast rows of perfectly aligned white grave markers,

the realities of it all just did not sink in.  I had to see, touch, and experience them personally for the meaning of the powerful monuments to touch my soul. 

But there was another monument that took me by surprise.  Why I had never known of it is a mystery to me.  But walking along the monument trails, I came upon the Korean War monument.  Significantly different in its approach, the monument is a small field of soldiers frozen in a moment in time, looks of concern, fear, and anxiousness forever etched on their faces. 

Aside from the deeply human connection to the monument design itself, as I stood there I thought, “and this was the war in which Daddy served.”  And while he would be quick to say he didn’t serve in a field in this way, it doesn’t matter.  This was his time, his buddies, his world, his war.  It suddenly become intensely personal.  And just a few feet away, a sobering reminder:


Monuments.  Emotional.  Powerful.   Reminding.  Convicting.


In this week’s readings were some different kinds of monuments:

  • "So he [Abraham] build an altar to the Lord" Genesis 12:7
  • "There he [Abraham] built an altar to the Lord" Genesis 13:18
  • "Abraham planted a tamarisk tree...and called there on the name of the Lord" (Genesis 21:33)
  •  Isaac "took the stone and set it up as a pillar."  Genesis 28:18
  •  Jacob set up a pillar in the place where God spoke to him.  Genesis 35:14


At each of these moments, a mere human encountered the Almighty God and found the natural response to build a monument, a way to call those that come along behind to remembrance. 


Personal interactions.  Lasting connections.  Legacies for the future.  Monuments.


So, here’s the question I'm pondering this week:  What am I leaving behind in the places that I touch that bring others to a place of remembering and honoring God?


No, I’m not suggesting I gather stones into a pile every time I encounter God.  Rather, I’m pondering how I can build spiritual touch points, places of remembrance into my day-to-day interactions with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers I encounter.  How can I be intentional about sharing the moments of awe and honor in the presence of the Holy One as I go through my day-to-day life?


And as was the case with my first walk through Washington, those connections with those we love most (like my wonderful Dad), are the ones that have the potential of touching us most deeply. 


My husband, my children, my parents, my siblings, my church family, my friends:  What legacies, what spiritual monuments or reminders will they experience because of my life?


Lord, please help me to be mindful of my daily walk with You, to be intensely conscious of what I leave behind in the lives I touch.


Thank you for loving me enough to leave Your Path clearly marked.  Thank you for paying the price.  Freedom isn't free.



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[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Abraham Arlington Bible Christian God Isaac Joseph Washington encounters legacy monuments photography remember Sun, 12 Apr 2015 20:40:54 GMT
52 Weeks: #14 Why? I have questions.  Lots of them.  Some of them really hard questions like “why do precious, godly people in my life have to suffer intense pain, both physical and emotional.”  Other questions maybe aren’t so hard, but still, I do wonder why chickens have wings but don’t fly.  I’m sure someone somewhere has the answers to some of my questions, but others remain unanswered.


Perhaps you’ve guessed.  For week 14 of the 52 Week Challenge, I read the book of Job.  The book is 42 chapters long.  For most of the first 37 chapters, Job and his friends are grappling with why Job is suffering.  Relying on human logic, they word-wrestle back and forth, with each one convinced his perspective is correct and even righteous.


And God waits.  For a time.


And then He speaks.


However, when He speaks, He doesn’t answer the questions.  Rather He asks more questions.  Questions like:



“Where were you

when I laid

the foundations

of the earth?”

Job 38:4






"Have you

commanded the

morning since

your days began,

and caused the dawn

to know its place,

that it might take

hold of the

skirts of the earth?”

Job 38:12-13



“Have you

entered the


of the snow

or have you seen

the storehouses

of the hail?”

Job 38:22





“Has the rain a father,

or who has begotten

the drops of dew?" 

 Job 38:29





“Is it by

your command

that the eagle

mounts up and

makes his nest

on high?”

Job 39:27




And one of His toughest questions: 

“Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?”

Job 40:8


And the room falls silent.  My room; where I sit.

When I think of the day that we stand in the presence of the Almighty Creator, I don’t picture myself standing with my hands on my hip asking “Why?” about anything.  Yet, now, in this day and time, I find myself pleading “why” in sobs, asking “why” while stamping my feet, or questioning “why” with a weary sigh.


But now we look ahead by faith.  Part of faith means not knowing.  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)  Blended with the assurance and conviction are the things hoped for and not seen.  We’re not there yet.  We’re not sitting at rest at the Father’s feet with all of eternity to talk.


So how do we get through the “whys” now?  Perhaps this is simplistic, but, similar to God’s message to Job, He also affirms, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.  ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”  Isaiah 55:8-9


And it is in that wisdom, that the loving Father chose to send His Son, a gift with a promise.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16


So, we hold on, we continue to believe, to have faith.  God holds this world.  He is in control.  And while all things do not make sense to me in this present time and place, I am assured that God loves us, that He is in control, and His faithful children will be brought to rest with Him in the end.


So for now, for this moment, it is enough.




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[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian God Job Why faith photography questions suffering trust wisdom Sat, 04 Apr 2015 23:57:01 GMT
52 Weeks: #13 Amazing Creations Week 13, starting from the beginning, I'll simply let the Bible tell the story.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.  And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation."  Genesis 1:1 - 2:3



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[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Creator Genesis God animals beauty birds creation nature photography Sat, 28 Mar 2015 01:56:48 GMT
52 Weeks: #12 Promises "Revelation":  The act of revealing.  Hmm.  Ok.  "Revealing":  Giving information about something that was not known or allowing an understanding of something that was hidden.  As you might have guessed, this week's Bible reading was from the book of Revelation.  Reading through in just a couple of sittings was a really cool experience because it is kind of like watching a fantastic movie unfold, complete with dragons, beasts, and heroes on white horses.  The story, a vision in fact, is complex and I must admit, I don't understand a lot of it.  However, among the many intricate symbols in the narrative are several clear promises.  These give me great courage and comfort as I seek to walk with Him.


To the one

who conquers

I will grant

to eat

of the

tree of life,

which is in the

paradise of God.

Revelation 2:9




The one who conquers

will be clothed thus in white garments,

and I will never blot his name

out of the book of life.

I will confess his name

before my Father and

before his angels.

Revelation 3:15





I stand at the door

and knock.

If anyone hears my voice and

opens the door,

I will come in to him and

eat with him,

and he with me. 

Revelation 3:20





He will wipe away every tear

from their eyes,

and death shall be no more,

neither shall there be mourning,

nor crying, nor pain anymore,

for the former things

have passed away.

Revelation 21:4





I am the Alpha and the Omega,

the beginning and the end.

To the thirsty

I will give from the spring of the

water of life

without payment. 

Revelation 21:6




The one who conquers will have this heritage,

and I will be his God and he will be my son. 

Revelation 21:7


So, here's what I know for sure about the book of Revelation:  There's a war between good and bad, specifically between Satan and God.  God sent His only Son Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, to be the Savior.  He wins.  People like you and me that take refuge in the Savior will be saved and thus, receive some awesome blessings.

This is one time where telling you the end of the story is not a spoiler alert.  Instead, it is a comfort and encouragement.



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To God be the glory!



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian Jesus Promises Revelation Satan blessings nature photography spring story tree water Sun, 22 Mar 2015 18:54:13 GMT
52 Weeks: #11 His Hands, His Words  

Last week's readings on the 52 Week Challenge provided constant reminders of the Designer's Hand in the creation of the universe.  This week's readings continued that thought.  So while last week's blog focused on the details of design, this week reflects on the broad strokes of God's paintbrush. 



"But in these last days

He has spoken

to us

by His Son

whom He appointed

the heir of all things,

through whom also

He created the world." 

Hebrews 1:2






"He is the

radiance of

the glory of God

and the exact

imprint of His

nature, and He

upholds the

universe by the word

of His power." 

Hebrews 1:3



"You, Lord,

laid the foundation

of the earth

in the beginning

and the heavens

are the work

of Your hands."

Hebrews 1:10





"For it is fitting that He,

for whom and by whom

all things exist,

in bringing many sons to glory,

should make the

founder of their salvation


through suffering." 

Hebrews 2:10







"For every house

is built

by someone

but the


of all things

is God." 

Hebrews 3:4





"By faith

we understand

that the universe

was created by

the word of God

so that what is seen

was not made

out of things

that are visible." 

Hebrews 11:3



"The heavens

existed long ago,

and the earth

was formed

out of water and

through water

by the

word of God." 

II Peter 3:5-7




"To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen" Jude 1:25



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[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Creation God Jesus Savior mountains nature photography Sat, 14 Mar 2015 19:35:55 GMT
52 Weeks: #10 Amazing Designs! I love being outdoors!   We are blessed to live near several parks and wildlife reserves.  With camera in tow, we spend many of our free hours refreshing and restoring our minds and bodies in these beautiful settings.  As we stroll through these natural places that have only lightly been altered by human hands, evidence of a greater designer is abundant.

Mirriam-Webster Dictionary has this to say about design:  it is

  • An underlying scheme that governs functioning, developing, or unfolding
  • A plan or protocol for carrying out or accomplishing something
  • The arrangement of elements or details in a product or work of art
  • A decorative pattern
  • The creative art of executing aesthetic or functional designs

So, design serves a purpose, is decorative, and creative.  In contrast, chaos and randomness have no perceivable purpose or design.  Design, then, by definition, requires intentional thought, which in turn, requires an intelligent source.  Design requires a designer. 

A simple illustration:  Suppose I told you that on one of my many nature walks I came upon this scene that had just randomly occurred:

You'd probably laugh and say "yeah, right!"  or question my intellect if I asserted that I truly believed this design was by accident.  Clearly, someone placed these shells into the design.  The chances of this kind of design happening by accident are very slim to none.  No reasonably, thoughtful person would assume this just happened by accident.

Yet, consider this design:

What about this?  Is the evidence of the design any different from the pattern of the shells on the rock?

This week's readings continually assert God as Designer of the universe.  Consider these words and gaze on these amazing designs.

"For His invisible attributes,

namely His eternal power

and divine nature,

have been clearly perceived

ever since the

creation of the world

in the things that have been made

so they are without excuse."

Romans 1:20





"Who has given

a gift to Him

that He might be repaid?

For from Him and

through Him and

to Him

are all things. 

To Him be glory forever,


Romans 11:35



"You, O Lord,

laid the foundation

of the earth

in the beginning

and the heavens

are the work

of your hands." 

Hebrews 1:10




Thanks be to our Designer and Creator for providing amazing beauty and function in our world. 



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[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Creator Design God creation designer nature photograpphy Sat, 07 Mar 2015 16:23:37 GMT
52 Weeks: #9 Want a Great Marriage? Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of my wedding day.  Everything is perfect, I’m adorned in my most beautiful attire, and my knight in shining armor awaits to whisk me off to “and they lived happily ever after” land.

The reality:  it rained cats and dogs, the cake was absolutely wrong, our photographer called day of the wedding saying he couldn’t come, and my ringbearer spiked a 104 degree temperature shortly after the ceremony.   I have no idea what anybody said during the ceremony except the “I do” parts in all the right places.  My dad, who officiated our ceremony, even forgot to tell my darling he could kiss his bride.  (I’ve teased him about doing that on purpose.) 

All of that before we left the church building.

And the “happily ever after” part?  Well, let’s just say that real life is not a fairy tale. Real life is messy.  People get sick, bills come due, cross words are said, selfishness and laziness seep in to even the best of marriages.

So, how do people survive and even, (dare I say it) thrive in marriage?

This week’s readings brought me face-to-face with God’s advice to married couples in ways I’ve not seen before.  In one day’s reading, in particular, the apostle Paul is writing to Christians in Colossae (Colossians).  This same writer pens words of guidance to the church in Ephesus (Ephesians).  In both of these letters, Paul talks about the unique and precious relationship that Jesus has to the church, calling it Jesus’ own body (Colossians 1:17-18, 24) and His bride (Ephesians 5:25-31).  These two images give us a glimpse of how very precious the church is to Jesus.  I am especially drawn to the parallels of love and devotion between Christ and His church and husband and wife. 

So, as the Savior, through the pen of Paul begins to share guidance to the church on how we should treat each other as parts of His body, His adored bride, the church, it dawned on me that these exact directions apply exponentially to husbands and wives as mirrors of Christ’s love in the world. 

Reading, then, through the letter to the Colossians as if Jesus were speaking directly to husbands and wives, what can we learn about how to treat each other in marriage?  Here are ten specific truths that can lift, strengthen and sustain our marriages.

1.  Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him.  Colossians 1:10  Focus your day-to-day walk on pleasing Jesus.  This focus helps prevent petty retaliations to what my spouse may do in his weaker moments.  I cease trying to “pay him back” but rather seek to please Jesus.

2.  For by Him [Jesus] all things were created, in heaven and on earth.  (Colossians 1:15).  My spouse was created by Jesus.  That realization alone changes the way I think about my husband.  How much it would hurt the Creator if I purposely mistreated His child! 

3.  Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  (Colossians 3:2)  It’s easy to let distractions of this world draw us off track from what is important.  Keep focused on the important and minimize distractions that may come from over-scheduling, “keeping up with the Jones’, or climbing the corporate ladder, just to name a few.

4.  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  (Colossians 3:7-8)   That’s a lot of “putting to death:” completely removing impurity, covetousness, unkind words spoken in anger or frustration.   All sexual appetites become focused only on my spouse, concern for my spouse’s well-being takes precedence over my own selfish desires, words become uplifting or are silenced.

5.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)  Trust is one of the most important characteristics of a healthy marriage.  But trust can easily be damaged by dishonesty.  Chances are, if I am tempted to lie (including purposeful misleading or hiding truth) to my spouse about something, I probably don’t need to be doing whatever I'm trying to cover up.

6.  Put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  (Colossians 3:12)  Focusing my heart on my spouse is one of the greatest blessings I can give him.  Being patient, considering where he is.  What has his day been like?  And I must admit it, when my days aren’t so great, I'm not always the greatest companion on earth.  That realization is humbling.

7.  If one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:13)  Forgive.  Just the way I want Christ to forgive me. I’m thankful that Jesus does not continually throw my mistakes back in my face, aren’t you?

8.  Above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  (Colossians 3:14).  This kind of love isn’t the mushy touchy-feely stuff.  This is the epic choice to care for your husband.  It’s a choice, a decision, not based on the fleeting emotions of the moment.

9.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  (Colossians 3:15)  Work to set a peaceful tone in your home, starting from your heart and working outward.  Work to create a space that nourishes and nurtures.  The world can be brutal.  Give space for peacefulness.

10.  Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.  (Colossians 4:2).  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.  Ask God to strengthen your marriage and your resolve to mirror His love to the world through your marriage.  Thank God for your spouse.  Focus on his good traits and thank God for those.


I'm not sure about how this guidance hits you, but I can readily see some areas on which I want to improve.

May we all seek Him first and foremost.  And may we pursue God-honoring relationships here on this earth.

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[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian Jesus guidance love marriage photography relationships wedding Sat, 28 Feb 2015 16:00:00 GMT
52 Weeks: #8 I Love You! So, you might have expected to see a blog about love last week on Valentine's Day.  But maybe it's just as well that my timing was off because it might not really fit with the mushy, gushy heart-shaped candies and roses approach to love that was central to last weekend.  It seems to me that the word "love" is one of our language's and culture's most overused word.  Just think about it. 

I love...


Seeing people smile

My dogs

A beautiful sunset

Dark chocolate

A great cup of coffee


My kiddos

My husband

My God and Savior


Wow!  Now there's a list for you!  Of course, we all readily recognize (I hope) that all of these "loves" are not equal.  Yet we use the same word to talk about all of them.  So, it shouldn't be too surprising that we have a hard time figuring out what love really means in relationships.

When I was about five years old, my parents made the three of us kiddos memorize I Corinthians 13.  The whole chapter.  And I couldn't even read yet!  What mean parents, right?!  Maybe you know what the chapter is about, but just in case, let me share it with you.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

So why would my parents think this was worthy of committing to memory at the ripe old age of five?  In all fairness, at the time I think it had a whole lot to do with sibling rivalry.  But several decades later, those words still run through my mind and through my heart.  They serve as a kind of a compass, pointing the way to true love.  The second paragraph is such a clear description of how love acts:

You see, true love shows itself to be true.  Not perfect, as we all make mistakes, but consistent.  Love chooses to treat other people in a way that honors them and protects them.  These choices stand firm in spite of the emotions of the moment.  True love chooses right actions to protect and care for the one that is loved.  Emotions come and go and can be swayed by thousands of different influences from  weather to amount of sleep you've had to the fender-bender  you had on the way home.  But true love is different.  You can count on true love to remain steadfast regardless of the momentary emotions that may or may not contribute in a positive way. 

It's hard work.  It's choice.  It's commitment.  It's worth it.

May we all demonstrate love.



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[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian Jesus Love Valentine's Day hearts photography roses true love Sat, 21 Feb 2015 03:25:39 GMT
52 Weeks: #7 Contrast Contrast is a vital component of great photography.  So, I love dabbling in black and white imagery.  This week's reading began exploring the early days of the church as recorded in the book of Acts.  I love that we are reading of first encounters with the gospel message in various cities and then joining that reading with letters written to those same Christians later.  It is real direction to real people. 

So what did I learn?

One concept that jumped out at me this week was contrast.  The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, devotes much time to detailing what it means to walk by the Spirit.  He contrasts this with the idea of gratifying the flesh, or our human desires. 

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. "  Galatians 5:16-17

He goes on to give a pretty detailed list of what he means by the works of the flesh:

"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these." Galatians 5:19-21

Sounds a bit like the daily news, doesn't it?  And just in case something specific was missing from the list, those last few words, "and things like these" close the loop. 

But, fortunately, we aren't left to guess at what life walking by the Spirit means.  This beautiful description follows:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."  Galatians 5:22-23

I love that last phrase here:  there is no law against any of the Spirit's fruit.  In contrast, many laws have been written across cultures against the various acts of the flesh.  That, in and of itself, provides some evidence to the power and value of the Spirit in the lives of mankind.

O.k.  So there are good things I should embrace and bad things I should avoid.  That's it?


This is about the heart.  It is about a transformation from within.  It is about a walk, a life-transforming relationship with the Spirit.  This contrasts some commonly held perspectives.  Let's consider a few.

Living by the Spirit:  When Convenient

Church buildings are often packed on Christmas and Easter.  And many people attend a worship service on a weekly basis.  Is that it?  Interestingly, nothing in either description above (acts of the flesh or fruit of the Spirit) makes any reference to attending a worship service.  While our coming together as a church family is vital, that is not the defining elements of walking with the Spirit.   Rather, all of these descriptors are matters of the heart.   It's not about convenience; rather it's about a daily walk.


Living by the Spirit:  For the Most Part

"I'm a good person!"  Have you ever heard that?  Have you ever said that?  Maybe we don't say it out loud, but do we tell ourselves we're good?  Yeah, I do, too.  But none of us can live righteously on our own.  If we could, we wouldn't have needed Jesus.  However, it is because of our love for Him in providing His grace, that we respond with lives reflecting His will.  Before Jesus' death, He told His disciples, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15).  So, we are told, "For you were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh." (Galatians 5:13)  So harboring those places of secret sin in our lives is counter to the Spirit's working in our lives.  This may require some heart surgery, digging deeply into those dark places that continually draw us away from the Spirit's guidance, and asking the Savior for forgiveness. 


Living by the Spirit:  A Transformation


Living by the Spirit involves a complete transformation, springing from within then flowing through to our outward actions.  Instead of plodding along with sin-darkened hearts, we surrender to the Spirit's power and guidance to purify our hearts.  Yes, we will still struggle and we will still sin.  But a transformed heart will result in a life reflecting the fruit of the Spirit.



"And those who belong

to Christ Jesus

have crucified the flesh

with its passion and desires. 

If we live by the Spirit

let us also keep

in step with the Spirit." 

Galatians 5:24-25 


We will not be perfect, but as a child in step with his father, so we seek to walk in step with the Spirit.




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[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian Galatians Jesus black and white contrast fruit of the Spirit photography walk Sat, 14 Feb 2015 17:50:45 GMT
52 Weeks: #6 When God Said "No" I have to admit it up front: I dreaded this week's readings.  The detailed descriptions of Jesus' agony from His heart-wrenching prayers in Gethsemane before His arrest through the humiliating treatment during the mockery trial, leading to the excruciating hours of pain leading to and on the cross.  Reading the meticulous descriptions, particularly when you combine the writings of all four gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) is almost more than I can handle.

But I brace and read.

Read of betrayal.

Read of thorns.

Read of mockery.

Read of nails.


And the cross.


And I'm angry.  Angry at the religious leaders of the day.  Why couldn't they take their blinders off and see what they were doing?

Angry at Pilot.  He knew Jesus was innocent, yet he gave in to the whims of the religious elite.

And then I remember. 

I remember and bow my head in shame.

I am the one to blame.  Jesus died for me.  Not because religious and political leaders didn't understand.  No.  Jesus' entire reason for coming to the earth was to suffer and die for me because of my sins.  Because He loves me.  This was the plan all along, and Jesus knew that. He told His disciples on multiple times that He would die for the sins of mankind. (See Matthew 16:21, 17:21-23, and 20:17-18 for a few examples.)

Coming in and out of Jerusalem from His boyhood up to adult years, Jesus likely saw others being crucified.  He knew that this was the trajectory of His human existence.  And as the final days of His ministry began to count down, I can just imagine that as He passed by others hanging in agony on a cross that He winced, knowing that before long it would be His blood which would form the ragged red pools under the rugged place of torture.  The absolute worst kind of death devised in that day.  Can you imagine what He must have felt in those moments when He came face to face with what He would endure?  When He looked into the eyes of those hanging there and saw their grief, felt their pain?

It's nice and neat to think that Jesus just took all of this in stride.  After all, the Hebrew writer does say that "...Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."  Hebrew 12:2


And yes, He did endure.

But there was that moment.  That moment when He looked to the Father and said, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from Me." (Luke 22:42)  And look at another sentence that Mark includes in his account, "Father, all things are possible for You.  Remove this cup from Me."  (Mark 14:36)  Jesus was grappling with the pain He knew was in His path.  This was going to be horrible beyond description and He calls out to the Father.  "Please take it away." 

But God said "No."

What was that about?  I thought God always answered our prayers?  How would He say "No" to His only Son?

But God said, "No."

And we know why, at least in part.  WE are the reason God said, "No."  WE are guilty and Jesus was the only perfect sacrifice that could take our place.

So, God said, "No." 

Sometimes "No" is an answer to prayers.

God says "No" when there is a better, more important purpose at stake.


But here's what I had not considered before that has completely transformed my thoughts about prayers to God during struggles.

True, God said "No" to Jesus' request.  However, the Father did not leave Jesus to endure this moment alone.  Rather, He sent comfort to Jesus to aid Him through what He must endure.

This same compassionate Father aligns with us in heartache also.  He may not always take away that which we must endure.  However, He will not leave nor forsake us.  He is here. He loves.  He cares.

One of Jesus' last words to His disciples before He ascended into heaven included this thought also.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20 (emphasis added.)

Our Savior and our Father are here for us daily.

That doesn't mean that we will not have to endure intense pain and struggles.  Nor does it mean that God will always instantly remove our trials in the moment we call to Him in prayer.

What it does mean is that His followers, His disciples, His children will never have to walk through any of this life's struggles without His comfort.

Thank you, Father.  Thank you, Jesus.

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Answers Christian Gethsemane God God answers prayers Jesus Prayer comfort crucifixion photography Sun, 08 Feb 2015 21:49:42 GMT
52 Weeks: #5 Jesus said, "I Am" Week Five of reading through the Bible has Jesus describing in rich images who He is.  He has shown throughout a myriad of miracles that He is from God.  Now, He explains in a series of "I Am" statements what that means in real terms in our lives.


I Am the Bread of Life

"Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life;

whoever comes to me shall not hunger,

and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.'" 

John 6:35


He nourishes, He fills, He sustains.


I Am the Light of the World

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying,

'I am the light of the world.

Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,

but will have the light of life.'”

John 8:12


He lights our path, He protects, He gives direction.


I Am the Door




"I am the door.

If anyone enters by me,

he will be saved

and will go in and out

and find pasture.


John 10:9


He protects,

He guards,

He enfolds.







I Am the Good Shepherd

"I am the good shepherd.

The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."


John 10:11-15


He sacrifices, He defends, He owns.


I Am the Vine



"I am the vine;

you are the branches.

Whoever abides in me and I in him,

he it is that bears much fruit,

for apart from me

you can do nothing.


John 15:5


He connects,

He strengthens,

He enables.






I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through me.'"


John 14:6


He points, He directs, He leads.


I Am the Resurrection and the Life

"Jesus said to her,

'I am the resurrection

and the life.

Whoever believes

in me,

though he die,

yet shall he live, 

and everyone

who lives

and believes

in me

shall never die.

Do you believe this?'”

John 11:25

He raises, He revives,

He regenerates.



My God and My Savior, what more could I ask?



Read more of the 52 Week Challenge.

Want to know when the next blog is posted?  Drop me a note and asked to be added to the email list.


Thanks for reading!

--Rachel Welborn, Come and See  Photography



[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian I Am, Jesus door fruit good shepherd life light photography resurrection shepherd truth vine way Sun, 01 Feb 2015 23:36:06 GMT
52 Weeks: #4 Jesus' Upside-down World Upside-down.  That seems like the perfect description for much of what Jesus said in this week's readings.  To say that Jesus came to shake up the religion of the day is an understatement.  In fact, it was the religious leaders of His time that pushed the political leaders to put Jesus to death.  So, yes, He really shook them up.

But what about us?  Here we sit, some 2,000 years later.  How does what Jesus taught impact our world?

It seems to me that much of His words are as counter-culture today as they were to the people living during His time on earth.  Consider these examples from this week:

"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?"  Matthew 16:24, 26

"So therefore anyone of you who does not denounce all that he has cannot be my disciple."  Luke 14:33

"If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."  Mark 9:35

"He who is least among you all is the one who is great."  Luke 9:48

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."  Luke 18:14

"Whoever would be great among you must be your servant.  And whoever would be first among you must be your slave."  Matthew 20:26-27

Last?  Least?  Humble?  Servant?

How counter-culture is that!

The Son of God, our Savior, calls us to be least, denounce all we have, and become a servant.  Surely, Lord, you don't really mean that?  How can I survive in this "dog-eat-dog" world without scrapping and scratching and climbing my way up and over whatever and whoever is in my way?  God, you just don't understand.  They'll walk all over me if I don't work to stay on top.

And He gently answers, "Yes, my child, I do understand."  "Even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many."  Matthew 20:28.

And with those words, He turns our world upside-down.

So what would that look like in today's world?  How would we live that out?

I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers, but here are a few thoughts.

In my marriage, perhaps I would be less annoyed and more joyful when I'm taking care of my husband's needs.  Perhaps I would be quicker to go the extra mile for him and slower to criticize and complain. 

With my children, perhaps I would do less grumbling and grouching when they are messy, irresponsible, fussy, know, childlike.  Maybe instead, I would seek to instruct and guide with patience.

At work, perhaps I would take on the tasks of my day with a thankful heart.  If overseeing others, how could demonstrate a servant heart rather than lording over them?  If working under someone else, how can I honor them rather than complain or undermine?  Co-workers? How can I be a help to them rather than compete?

In the church, God's family, how do I serve?  I think we often struggle in this realm.  For instance, "serving" in the church setting often seems to be interpreted as leading a ministry of some kind.  While I am thankful to have leaders in the congregation and we need them, is that the definition Jesus gives to serving?  I don't think so.  Perhaps this doesn't happen where you live, but in some places I've been, I've seen some rather nasty squabbles in God's family over who is going to serve (aka lead) a particular ministry.  So perhaps, here of all places, we need to consider what serving one another in the family means. 

Jesus gave His all.  His life. 

He suffered.  He agonized.

He washed dirty feet.

He touched sick and maimed people.

He ignored His needs for the sake of us.

He turned our world upside-down.

Now He tells us to do the same.

What do you think this would look like?  Leave a comment.  I'd love to get your thoughts.

Read more about the 52 Week Challenge.

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian Jesus culture humility photography serving Sat, 24 Jan 2015 14:20:45 GMT
52 Weeks: Week 3- Power of Touch Week Three of the 52 Week Challenge!  Wow!  Reading through the midsection of Jesus' ministry provides so much depth that it's hard to choose the one thought to share here.   However, throughout the many interactions in this week's reading, one word kept surfacing, "touch."  To say that Jesus was and is a hands-on Savior is an understatement.  Once He began His public ministry, throngs of people surrounded Him daily and He welcomed them, even when He was tired (Mark 6:31-34) and grieving (Matthew 14:13-14). 

The Master of the Universe, Son of God, invited humanity close, really close.  And not just the pretty people either.  Not just the cleaned up "got it all together" kind of folks.  Rather, incredible crowds of sick, physically disabled, demon-possessed, ragged pieces of humanity sought the Great Physician.  And He healed them.  Lots of them.  Lepers, deaf, blind, and all manner of sicknesses the Savior healed.

With the simple power of His words alone, He was able to heal.  When the Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant, Jesus simply said, "It shall be done."  And it was.  He cast out demons with a single word, "Go," and they obeyed.  Even the winds tossing about the boat ceased at His command. (Read Matthew 8 for these whole stories.) 

What Power!  Power to command illnesses, evil spirits, and the forces of nature at a word.

But this is about touch. 

So, the Master clearly has the authority to command whatever He wills and to simply speak the words.  That is enough.  Yet, consider these.

  • The leper (Matthew 8:3):  Jesus touched him
  • Peter's mother-in-law, sick with a fever (Matthew 8:15):  Jesus touched her
  • The many sick that came to Him (Luke 4:40):  Jesus touched them
  • Deaf and mute man (Mark 7:33):  Jesus put His fingers in his ears and touched his tongue
  • Ruler's dead daughter (Matthew 9:25): Jesus took her by the hand


Did He have to touch these sick people to make them well?  Clearly not.  Just look back at the Centurion's servant.  So why did He?  Why did Jesus touch germy, contagious, messy people? 

My sweet husband has had a cold all week.  I'm trying to care for him, but I'm keeping my distance.  I don't want to get sick.  I've got things to do.  I can't be slowed down by risking my own health. 

You with me?


So why did Jesus touch?

I do not claim to have complete understanding of Jesus' motives and thoughts behind all that He did or said.  However, within these same passages for this week's readings is another key word, compassion.  "Seeing the people, He had compassion for them because they were distressed and dispirited." (Matthew 9:36).  "When He went ashore He saw a great crowd and He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd." (Mark 6:34). 

Our all powerful Savior has compassion for us, sick, messy as we are.


And He touched them.

And they responded.


They came to Him.  They reached out and touched Him.  The woman with the bleeding issue ((Matthew 9:18), the many sick at Gennesaret (Matthew 14:36), all of them reasoned, "If I can just touch even the hem of His garment, I will be made well."  They recognized His power.  They wanted to be close and to be healed.

So, where does this touch our lives today?

This same Jesus that reached out in very personal ways reaches out to us.  He is eager to be close to His family.  He calls His followers his brothers, sisters, and mother (Matthew 12:50).  It's personal.  It is intimate.  It is connected.

He reaches out.

And we respond.

We touch.

We connect.

And He heals.

Want to read along?  Here is the schedule I'm using.

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Jesus compassion love photography power touch Sat, 17 Jan 2015 16:40:18 GMT
52 Weeks: Week 2 Lighting the World Week Two of my 52 Week Challenge provided a lot of food for thought, as God's Word always does.  One passage that caught my attention in particular is one I memorized when I was young.  Maybe you did, too.  "You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:14 - ESV).  Part of what caught my attention is the word "light."  If you read my week one post, you noticed with me how Jesus was called the Sunrise.  All throughout the first chapter of John and in dozens of other places throughout the Bible, He is pointed to as the Light of mankind leading us out of darkness. 

So here, in Matthew, as Jesus shares a set of core principles in what we have come to call the Sermon on the Mount, He looks at us and says, "You are the light of the world."  In that short sentence, He laid upon us as individuals a charge aligning with His mission.

He continues.

"A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." 

A bit over a year ago, I was in Pittsburgh for a conference.  I was staying in a hotel near the river walk and enjoyed stretching my legs along the waterway in the evenings.  Across the river was a ridge of hills that overlooked the place where I was staying.  A  number of buildings were perched right on the ridge silhouetted against the sky.  From almost any place I walked along the riverside below, I could look up and see the city.  Depending on the time of day, the buildings may stand as dark outlines against the fading light or as brightly lit spots of color as the first rays of daylight began to shine.  Either way, though, the hilltop city was in plain view.

So here we are, a simple point illustrated by a real place.

But there is more.

Notice the building on the left?  It is a church building of some sort.  I don't know what name is on the door, but judging from the crosses clearly seen on the steeple, I am guessing that the people that come together to worship in this building believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior.

Now here's where the artist in me wrestled a bit with the truth seeker in me.  Allow me to explain.  Even a year ago, while not thinking about the 52 Week Challenge, I was struck by the church building's silhouette against the sky and how the cross was so visible to the entire population below.  So the photographer in me captured images of this church building a number of times throughout the week from a number of different angles at different times of day.

Why does that matter?

Well, I like this picture best:

The church building set against the blue sky with the forest as its carpet just really stands out.  I like it. 

So what's the dilemma?

Jesus didn't say, "The church is the light of the world.  A church set on a hill cannot be hidden."  Although I would say there is truth there; it just isn't what He said here.

Here's what He said:  "You are the light of the world."  It's individual.  It's personal.  It is my charge as a follow of Him to be that light.  I can't put that off on the church, relegating it to the ministers, staff, church leaders, or ministries of the congregation.  "They should do something" has no place in this command from our Lord.

Here's the second part:  "A city set on a hill cannot be hidden,"  not just the church.  So, it's about you and me going about our daily lives in the cities or towns in which we live being a light.  It's not just about what happens in, around, or because of a formally structured gathering of God's people in a church facility. It's about my daily interactions wherever I am in the city, being the light for Jesus that cannot be hidden.

So, going back to my artsy challenge, the first picture in the post has a church building, yes.  And the work of the church is important and has a vital place in our lives as Christians.  But it also has some messier buildings perched alongside the church structure.  Places where people eat, sleep, work and interact daily.  Those other places are just as visible as the religious structure.  And so are we as we move throughout our day to day lives.  And sometimes daily life is messy.  It's easier to "clean up" for Sunday morning worship, but how do we go about our day to day interactions?  Are we light?  Daily?  That can be harder, messier.  Yet, the world needs Jesus daily.  We need Jesus daily.  He has charged us with spreading His Light. 

It's personal.

It's messy.

It's daily. 

You and me.

Let's light the world.


[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible Christian City Jesus Light Matthew Sermon on the Mount art photography Sat, 10 Jan 2015 18:50:31 GMT
52 Week Challenge Hey, friends.  I have committed to reading the Bible all the way through in 2015. I want to blend what I am learning from my photography with what I am learning through God's Word. My plan is to post at least one picture a week to share something that has caught my attention that week. Follow along. Because of God's MercyBecause of God's MercyThis is the first week's inspiration in my 52 week challenge. I have read Luke's account of Jesus' coming many times. But this time, in reading through the English Standard Version, I was struck with the idea that Jesus is called the "Sunrise." I love that imagery.

This is the first week's inspiration in my 52 week challenge. The first few chapters of the gospel according to Luke tell of the birth of John the Baptist and of Jesus.  I have read Luke's account of Jesus' coming many times. But this time, in reading through the English Standard Version, I was struck with the idea that Jesus is called the "Sunrise." I love that imagery.  Sunrises mean a new day, new hope, and a fresh start.  They are often accompanied with incredible, breathtaking beauty.

For me, personally, I'm a bit of a nighttime chicken.  When I'm alone at night, I can get spooked pretty easily.  Many times in my life  I've been so ready for the first light of day to take away the anxiety of the darkness.  So, the words of Luke 1:78-79 deliver incredible peace, telling me that the Sunrise will come (came) to bring light for those of us who sit in darkness.  Our fears, our anxieties, our shortcomings...all of them melt away in the coming of the Light into the world.  Thank you, Jesus.

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) 52 Week Challenge Bible God Jesus nature photography sunrise Sun, 04 Jan 2015 21:00:00 GMT
Unconditional The holiday season is often filled with emotions:  joyful reunions, cheery parties, and yes, sometimes periods of stress, grief, or the occasional "Bah Humbug."  Much of the emotion is centered around the theme of giving.  We come together with family and friends, often enjoying exchanging gifts to demonstrate our love for each other.  Sometimes that desire to give the perfect gift leads to stress as we search for the right gift while trying to manage stretched budgets.  Grief sometimes seeps into the mix as loved ones are missing or perhaps love itself is missing.

As the receiver, the gifts that touch my heart most deeply do not find their way to that spot because of the price tag nor the exclusivity of the item.  Rather, it is that pure display of love that cannot be bought with any amount of money.  Sometimes those moments, those gifts, are not even wrapped in pretty paper.  Sometimes they are simply delivered in servant-hearted acts of kindness or selfless actions that are such pure demonstrations of love that my heart asks, "Wow, do you really love me that much?  I am so undeserving!"

And as I reflect on these tender exchanges of human love and devotion, I can't help but see them as reflections of our Savior's ultimate gift.  The first chapter of John describes Jesus' place before he became a baby in Mary's arms.  He was with the Father; He was active in creation;  He had it all.  Yet He came.  Unconditional love came down to the earth knowing He would be rejected.  Yet He came.  And again, my heart asks, "Do you really love me that much?  I am so undeserving!"

He smiles and responds, "Yes, child, I have always loved you.  From before time began."

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:1-5)

"In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him." (I John 4:9)

Thank you, Father.  Thank you, Jesus.

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) Christmas Gifts Jesus family friends holidays love photography unconditional Sat, 03 Jan 2015 05:27:56 GMT
Where Does Christmas Live? The packages are all unwrapped, the space under the tree is empty, the stockings are folded up on the shelf, and the children just drove away.  My heart is so full.  My cup runneth over.  God has blessed us with precious children and I am so thankful.

I look around and know that some time in the next few days, I'll need to think about packing up all of the Christmas decorations and carefully storing the treasures away until next year.  The ornaments made with elementary school hands, school pictures pasted carefully into glass ornaments, dozens of memories that make me smile.

Christmas is such a special time  Generosity comes more easily, smiles and greetings shared freely.  It seems that, for the most part, the world is a better place around Christmas.

So, where does Christmas live for the rest of the year?  In a box in the attic?  In the top of a closet?  What if we kept Christmas out all year long?  O.K. maybe not the tree and maybe not the lights.  But what if we just kept the spirit of Christmas out and in plain view all year long?  Would people think we were a bit crazy?  Perhaps.

 But what if we did it anyway?  Maybe the words of the greetings change from "Merry Christmas" to some other encouraging words and perhaps we don't need to have a gift ready for all our friends and family on a particular day.  But what if the spirit of Christmas continued in our hearts throughout the coming year?  What would be different for you?  What would be different for me?  For me, I would be more intentional about taking time to be with the ones I love.  I would be more open and sensitive to the needs of others around me.  I would smile more, lend a hand more, but most importantly, reflect on the sacrifice of my Savior more.

So maybe, just maybe, I won't pack up all of Christmas this year.  Maybe this year, I will be intentional about leaving something out of the box, the spirit of love, hope and thanksgiving that makes Christmas special.  Care to join me? Let's leave something out!

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) Christmas Jesus family friends love photography presents spirit thankful Sat, 27 Dec 2014 23:25:07 GMT
The Gift As we near Christmas, many hearts and minds are on the gift of Jesus.  Inspired by an idea that my wonderful husband shared, I have created this video depicting the gift of the Savior as my gift to each of you.  Feel free to share. 

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) Christian Christmas God Jesus cross fall gift leaves love nature song Sun, 14 Dec 2014 23:59:44 GMT
Celebrity, Hero, or Something More? In these days of 24/7 newscasts, Tweets, posts, and countless magazines, our culture often gives honor to individuals using a limited criteria for measurement.  For instance, number of Gold Records, box office successes, or accomplishments in the sports arena garner applauds and accolades from a vast number of followers.  Tabloids and talk shows scramble to get the latest scoop about the biggest celebrities.  All of this attention may lead some, particularly our youth, to equate these accomplishments and the resulting attention to being a hero, someone to look up to and imitate.  Yet, while there are of course exceptions, clearly being in today's limelight in no way guarantees a lifestyle that should be emulated.  In fact, time after time, we've seen the iconic greats fall, and fall hard on temptations of lying, cheating, adultery, and a number of actions that God pointedly defines as sinful. 

So, who are our heroes?  Who are those people that are worthy of praise for the life they've lived?  Last week, I was privileged to walk the paths of Arlington Cemetery, final resting place of the bodies of many fallen soldiers.  These men and women gave their lives for their families, their countries, for us.  The countless rows of perfectly lined white markers are stark reminders of thousands of choices to stand for something that mattered and fight for freedom.   This takes courage, commitment, honor, and bravery beyond any that I can imagine.  Heroes?  Yes, and ones for which I am exceedingly grateful! 

But maybe there is more.  While I do not know the stories of the hundreds of soldiers whose names appear on the markers in this picture alone, I do know that they were human.  Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters as we all are.  Flesh and blood.  Some no doubt, lived their lives for the Lord; some probably not.  Yet, even so, none of them lived to perfection.  Only One has ever been able to live into an adult life sinless.  Perfect.  It was this One that gave a sacrifice that rises above all of those in the grave combined.  His sacrifice was clear to Him from the beginning.  He knew His task and He knew He would die.  That was never a question.  Yet He came.  Into the battleground of this world.  He came to fight the ultimate battle with Satan so that we could live free in Him. 

So where do we place Him?  Celebrity?  Maybe.  Many know His name if that is the definition.  How about hero?  Certainly, he took on a challenge selflessly for the sake of others.  But there's more.  He did for all of us what we could not do for ourselves individually nor collectively.  He conquered sin and opened the pathway to the Father.  No other person could ever do what He did.  He is our hero, perhaps, but more importantly, He is our Savior.

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." Romans 5:6-11 (ESV)

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) Arlington Cemetery Celebrity Jesus fall hero inspiration nature photography savior soldier Mon, 17 Nov 2014 23:17:34 GMT
Color Vs. Black and White What do you think?  Do you like color photographs or black and white?  For me, it depends.  For the right photo, a simple black and white rendition can be more compelling than the color version.   For instance, look at the picture below of a lakeside on a frosty morning in early fall.  Even without the color, you can see the glistening frost on the grasses and sunlit trees.  Kind of makes you want to go grab a sweater, yes?


Or maybe not.  Maybe adding a bit of color would tell a different story. 



O.k.  So it wasn't such a frosty morning after all.  It was a warm summery day.  But this simple visual exercise got me thinking.  I wonder how often we hide who we really are by stripping away the colors of our lives and only showing the essential "blacks and whites" of our existence.  Our Lord knew we'd need to be real with each other, honestly confiding, leaning, supporting, and yes, sometimes even confronting each other in order to encourage each other along the journey toward heaven. 

Philippians 2:1-2 states, "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. "

Wow!  What a mission!  Notice in verse 2 the words "in full accord."  Being that connected with the church family requires an openness that can only happen through honest connections with other followers. 

Yet, we have both instruction and an example of how to do this as we continue to read in that same passage:   3 "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

What will you do today to step out from behind your mask and love someone from a genuine heart?

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) Jesus Philippians black and white color genuine humility lake photography summer Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:58:23 GMT
Be Still I have recently been given the privilege of writing an article for Christian Woman magazine that will be published in the winter issue.  The article centers on the verse, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).  Ironically, this opportunity came during my busiest time of the year.  So, as I've juggled my way through the past few hectic weeks, I am thankful to have had this time to meditate on this simple, yet profound, life-changing passage.  "Be still and know that I am God."  In the midst of your busyness and your boredom, remember who shaped this world and whose hands hold it together.  "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."  Colossians 1:15-17

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) God Psalms busyness lake peace photograpy quiet still summer swing Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:46:53 GMT
Summer's End As any season ends, we stop and reflect back on the memories.  May we show love to those around us daily so that those memories are sweeter.

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) boats evening lake reflection summer sunset Sun, 03 Aug 2014 01:55:53 GMT
Upside Down?

Does your world seem upside down some days?  Mine does!  I love this shot from an autumn day that reminds me there can be unexpected beauty even in the days when things are not what we expected.

[email protected] (Come and See Photography) autumn reflection upside down fall leaves trees unexpected Fri, 11 Apr 2014 01:14:33 GMT