Tag Archives: local

Photogs (WPPI), Las Vegas, ShowIt, Friends & More…

I had the privilege of tagging along with my amazing wife to a Professional Photographers convention in Las Vegas. Promise is always has always been so good to tag along to my many outings in the church world and it was a blast to swim in her world for the week.

I was moved in so many ways this week. I was moved to see how a general market business could be so full of ministry potential. I was moved by the passion and heart of these ambitious, hard-working, sometimes lonely, talented and artistic group of Professional Photographers. Seriously, there are some amazing people in this industry.

The organization WPPI puts the convention on and it is primarily for wedding and portrait photographers. Total, I think I heard there were about 14,000 of them hanging around in Las Vegas over the convention days. Pretty wild. It’s a great chance to connect with other photographers, hear from some influential voices in the industry, talk to product vendors on the trade show floor and get inspired about photography.

Honestly, the convention was just okay. I wasn’t the hugest fan of how the thing was run…the whole thing was kind of hectic and unclear for new people. The part I loved the most was connecting with all the people there. We met SOOOO many great new people and got to hang with some of our good photog friends too.

We spent quite a bit of time with the crew from ShowIt. Promise uses their web software for her website. They’re team was their at the convention and getting good time with this group was one of the highlights of the week. They hosted some focus groups with some of their really great photographers and I got to sit in a couple of them. I was really inspired by the heart of a lot of the photographers that spoke in these focus groups. ShowIt set things up very relationally and less sales pitchy. It was a the kind of vibe I would want if I were in this industry.

So many friends and to much good to say about them all.

A few people from our week in Las Vegas that you should check out too:

David Jay is the visionary, team builder and the heart of ShowIt. He’s got a prolific mind and is always thinking quite a few steps in front of the average Joe. Promise and I got to spend some significant time with DJ (as they call him), his girlfriend Christianne and their team. This guy follows Jesus and lives like him. If I can love and treat people with half the heart of DJ I’ll be in good shape. So grateful for his encouragement to me and Promise in this season!

Jamie is 19 years old and one of the most talented, articulate, professional, fun, faith-filled and wise beyond her years people I’ve met in a long time. She’s a rising voice in the industry and I’m glad to now call her a friend.

Troy Grover is my brother-in-law and awesome friend. He has been a HUGE part of connecting Promise and I in this industry. Troy is one of those guys that has the ability to be great at whatever he touche. Troy is an amazing photographer and handles his business with such tact and professionalism. I’ve got lots to learn from Troy. Good thing he’s in the family! I think he got the short straw on this deal. 🙂


Steve and Stephanie have become great friends in recent months. They live here in the Phoenix area and are just such a good hang for us. These are easy, no drama-for-yo-mama kind of friends. They run a great Photography business too and we have plenty to learn from them!


Melissa Jill is a wise soul and a woman that has figured out the way to tether her art for justice too. She’s a solid photographer and has a quiet wisdom about her. It was an honor to get to hang with her a bit this week.


Zach and Jody Gray are awesome Nashville photographers. These two gave me quite a glimpse at the potential of what Wedding Photographers could do to change things like divorce rate, etc… It’s amazing to think of the ministry potential in a general market business. I love the drive and tenacity that the Grays have and I’m looking forward to the chance to hang with them again in the future!

Like I said, these are just a few of the faces of some of the amazing people we spent time with this past week. Anyways, go check these guys out and be inspired through their amazing images. There is so much to be learned in life by looking at wedding and portrait photography. These cats are paving the way for good days ahead too!

Overall, our experience at WPPI was really great. We’re thankful that we had the opportunity to be a part of it. We’re hoping to go back next year too!


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Prayer Won’t Be Enough…

This morning I watched a picture montage of the tragedy that is Haiti today. I watched as THOUSANDS of people stood in line in the HOT sun waiting, hoping and fighting over bags of beans, rice and oil. Many of them waited for hours just to be told that there wasn’t enough and the aid group had given out all the food they had. The already hungry people of Haiti are now even hungrier in the aftermath of the earthquake. I was struck with the reality that as Christ followers, when it comes to those in need, prayer alone will not be enough.

I had a couple interesting and diverse comments from people on a Twitter post I put out on the subject. Some agreed, some totally disagreed and said that prayer is sometimes all you can do. Personally, I could not disagree more with that statement. I would love to hear your thoughts on prayer and the needs of the poor. Do you think that it, alone, will be enough from what you know about what Jesus commands us to do?

Below is my response to the person that may disagree with me on this statement. I think Jesus sets the record straight on how we ought to engage those in need. I want to make clear that I am a FIRM advocate that prayer is an essential component to following Jesus, but, on it’s own it will not meet the needs of the poor. Here is my response:

Twitter: Watched a piece on @CNN about the lack of food in #Haiti. It’s not enough just to pray we must mobilize what we have for those in need!

I look at Matthew 25 where Jesus delivers his poignant and final sermon on ‘The Sheep and The Goats’. As you read that passage, NO WHERE, does Jesus mention that if we ‘pray’ for the least of these that it’s somehow serving their needs. Interesting, because I think Jesus (of all people) knew and understood prayer and the power of it. I find it interesting that these were His words in His final sermon:

Matthew 25:34
34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

When he says those things, the questions come:

44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

He makes this next BOLD statement regarding 34-36 to answer the question and it’s interesting that He never ONCE mentions prayer. He mentions physical, tangible ways in which we serve Him when we serve others. The outcome of ‘when’ we do these things comes in this next verse:

45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

He then talks about what happens to ‘the goats’ or those that did not live these things out:

46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I’ve heard it said that Matthew 25 is not so much concerned about the ‘ROOT’ of salvation, but, about the ‘FRUIT’ of salvation. It’s almost as if Jesus is saying, you cannot LOVE me and NOT engage in the plight of the less fortunate.

Again, I observe, PRAYER alone will not be enough to meet the call of what Jesus asks of us to develop as the fruit of our salvation. I’m not saying dismiss prayer, but, I am saying we better do more than just pray according to Jesus. My prayer is that Jesus would give me the courage and heart to serve the way He wants me to serve. I hope it’s your prayer too.

I’d LOVE your thoughts on this post. What do you think?

WORSHIP LEADERS – Input, Ideas….

worshiparts
If you’re a Worship Leader or Worship type person I have a question for you. I really could use your input.

I’m in the process of dreaming alongside some people about a potential worship conference. It’s in the works and let me just say, IF THIS HAPPENS YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS IT! Here’s the deal though, I desperately want your input on what would make a conference worth your time and what areas you would like to hear more about from Worship Leaders that you respect?

The questions to answer are the following:

1. What are subject matters and topics that would help you in your quest to be a better leader, pastor, songwriter, musician, etc…

2. Are there certain things that you feel like aren’t addressed at ‘other’ conferences that you wish some conference would speak too?

3. What would be a MAJOR reason that you would do ‘whatever it took’ to make sure you got to be at a conference as it relates to worship?

4. What’s the max you would pay for a 3-4 day conference?

5. How many people from your staff or team would you bring with you if it had the components you were looking to grow in?

Help me out…we really want your input and there are some REALLY great things in the talks right now. More later as things develop. Don’t forget to answer the questions. If you want just copy and paste the questions into a ‘comment’ box and answer right underneath each question. Thanks in advance for your input!